Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, is a powerful multi-modal treatment approach that Elements Traverse uses to address the extreme emotional intensity and dysregulation with which many of our clients struggle. It’s this intense emotionality that often leads to angry, destructive or counterproductive behaviors. DBT emphasizes personal responsibility and helps our clients examine how they deal with conflict and negative feelings. The goals of our dialectical behavioral therapy program include identifying maladaptive coping patterns and providing clients with adaptive coping strategies to promote healthier behaviors and psychological well-being.

DBT combines the basic strategies of cognitive-behavioral therapy with mindfulness practices. Dialectical behavioral therapy calls on clients to accept current reality while maintaining a strong and conscious commitment to change. DBT has also been modified so that it can be used with other difficulties such as substance use, self-harm and anger management. DBT targets the issues that cause distress and teaches skills to deal with them without having to resort to self-defeating behaviors. It does so in a structured framework that helps us understand that, on the one hand, we are doing the best we can and, on the other hand, we need to learn better ways of dealing with challenges.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy focuses on:

  • Mindfulness: Focusing the mind, directing attention and understanding how you feel.
  • Emotional Regulation: Reducing emotional intensity that can lead to impulsivity and destructive behaviors.
  • Distress Tolerance: Reducing impulsivity and managing personal crises.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Keeping relationships steady, getting what is needed and maintaining your self-respect.