DialecticalBehavior Therapy

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive psychotherapy developed by Marsha M. Linehan to treat individuals with complex emotional dysregulation, particularly those with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with concepts of mindfulness and acceptance to help clients build skills for managing intense emotions, improving interpersonal relationships, and reducing self-destructive behaviors.  

DBT is a therapy primarily used to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), characterised by unstable moods, impulsivity, self-harm, and difficulties in relationships. However, it has also been adapted for various other mental health conditions, including but not limited to:   

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DBT for Mood Disorders

DBT therapy has proven efficacy in treating mood disorders like major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder. DBT can help individuals manage mood swings, regulate emotions, and prevent self-harm or suicidal behavior  

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DBT for Anxiety Disorders

DBT techniques, particularly mindfulness practices, can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  

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DBT for Eating disorders

DBT skills can aid individuals in managing intense emotions and behaviors associated with conditions like binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa  

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DBT for Substance Use Disorders

DBT’s focus on emotion regulation and coping strategies can support individuals in overcoming addictive behaviors and maintaining sobriety.  

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DBT for Trauma-related Disorders

DBT’s emphasis on mindfulness and distress tolerance can assist individuals in processing traumatic experiences and reducing symptoms of trauma-related disorders like complex PTSD  

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT Skills 

DBT focuses on teaching four core sets of skills, commonly known as the “DBT skills modules”   

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Mindfulness Skills

These skills help individuals cultivate awareness of the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness practices include observing, describing, and participating fully in one’s experiences. By learning to observe thoughts, emotions, and sensations without reacting impulsively, individuals develop greater emotional regulation and distress tolerance.  

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Distress Tolerance Skills

DBT teaches strategies for coping with crisis situations and intense emotions without resorting to harmful behaviors. Distress tolerance skills include techniques such as distraction, self-soothing, improving the moment, and radical acceptance. By learning to tolerate distress without making it worse, individuals can navigate challenging situations more effectively.  

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Emotion Regulation Skills

These skills focus on identifying, understanding, and managing emotions in healthy ways. Emotion regulation skills include identifying and labeling emotions, increasing positive emotional experiences, reducing vulnerability to negative emotions, and effectively expressing emotions. By developing greater emotional awareness and regulation, individuals can respond to emotional triggers more adaptively.  

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Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

DBT Programs teach communication and relationship skills to help individuals navigate interpersonal interactions more effectively. Interpersonal effectiveness skills include assertiveness, effective communication, setting boundaries, and balancing priorities in relationships. By learning to assert their needs and maintain healthy boundaries, individuals can build more fulfilling and satisfying relationships.  

These core skills are taught in individual therapy sessions, skills training groups, and through homework assignments. By integrating these skills into their daily lives, clients can develop greater resilience, improve their overall well-being, and build a life worth living. 

Overall, DBT programs offer a structured and compassionate approach to addressing a wide range of mental health challenges, emphasising skills acquisition, emotional regulation, and building a life worth living.  

There are several DBT programs across Perth. Reach Life stands out for its unique blend of flexibility and affordability. Founder Tahnee Witt has been instrumental in setting up DBT programs in both the public, private and NGO sectors in Perth and is well regarded in the industry in this space. Tahnee has been instrumental in training and developing Reach Life’s DBT program. Reach Life offers both individual and group components of DBT. You can attend all or some of the DBT group programs.  

Our team of highly trained and passionate DBT therapists in Perth include Naomi, Tania, Sherry, Rachel D’Arcy, Tahnee, Cat, and Alison. 

Looking for DBT therapy sessions or group programs in Perth? Book your spot today: 

Book an appointment with Reach Life

Not sure which clinician is the best for you?

Call our friendly admin team on 9301 5659 to find your perfect match.