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Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Help You Manage Intense Mental Health Issues

Are you struggling with mental health difficulties and self-destructive behaviors? Do you find it challenging to live your life and fulfill your responsibilities due to anxiety, depression, or other issues like bipolar disorder or ADHD? Perhaps you experience angry outbursts or irritability. Or maybe you have displayed worrisome behavior like isolating yourself and avoiding social interactions.

Other mental health issues that may prompt you to seek help include panic attacks or engaging in self-harm or suicidal thinking. You probably understand that you are struggling and want to change, but you don’t know how or think it’s even possible. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with Ample Grace Psychiatry is a powerful therapy modality that can help you overcome this challenging time and pave the way toward a happy life again, healing emotionally, mentally, and even physically.

Sometimes Life Can Take Us Down A Difficult Road

We end up struggling with intense emotions for a variety of reasons. Maybe we’ve been stuck in a work situation that feels stifling and hopeless, and our stress levels have reached extreme heights. Or, perhaps there has been a death or other significant change in our routine. Feelings of grief can accumulate and intensify underlying mental health issues.

Stressful life circumstances can impact our ability to sleep and care for ourselves properly as well, especially if we don’t have a support system in place, leading to mental instability.

Our difficulties could be due to inheriting a mental health disorder because these issues are often passed down from one generation to the next. Or, external circumstances could be the cause of our distress, like financial or relationship problems. Ultimately, we sometimes need a helping hand to lift us out of the thick of challenging emotions.

Making matters more difficult, we might understand that we need help, but hold back from reaching out due to our own biases about mental health care or fear of judgment due to cultural stigma. Or maybe we aren’t aware that a treatment like DBT is available that can have truly amazing impacts on our ability to handle intense emotions.

How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Works

DBT is a treatment that can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and suicidal or self-harming thoughts and behaviors. Founded in the 1970s by Marsha Linehan, a suicide researcher, she discovered the benefits of this four-step process for those experiencing intense emotions.

It combines the benefits and skills of another therapeutic method, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with more mindfulness-based activities, an increase in interpersonal effectiveness, better emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. (1)

Dialectical means “the existence of opposites.” In DBT, people are taught two opposing skills – to accept their experiences, behaviors, and emotions are valid, while also working to change these reactions so that they are not so overwhelming. This combination has helped countless people break free from the unhelpful patterns they’ve established in their lives.

Four Foundations Of DBT

  • Mindfulness – when you pay attention to how your body responds to your thoughts and to stress without judgment, you can calm your nervous system, which can help tackle difficult emotions.
  • Emotional Regulation – this helps with recognizing your emotions and learning to accept them as they are right now. With practice, you can manage your emotional reactions to your thoughts so they aren’t so overwhelming.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness – holding onto your relationships while managing your self-respect and boundaries is important. Practicing this skill is especially useful if you’ve experienced trauma or have an attachment disorder.
  • Distress Tolerance – this is a coping skill in which you’re capable of managing challenging situations and circumstances without reacting or responding with self-destructive habits or tendencies.

Today, DBT has been empirically validated as counseling for a variety of different issues including substance abuse, suicide ideation and self-harm, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. (2)

Virtual DBT Sessions With Ample Grace Psychiatry

Before we meet for our first session, I will have you fill out a comprehensive history of your experiences so I can recommend the right treatment for you. In addition to being a DBT therapist, I also treat clients with disorders that require medication and utilize other modalities like EMDR.

Once we establish that DBT is the right choice for you, psychotherapy will begin with individual sessions that are usually half an hour to an hour in length. Typically, we’ll meet once per week via telehealth from the comfort of your home. During sessions, we will learn about and practice coping strategies that can be applied in real-life situations based on the four foundations of DBT.

Through this process, you are likely to see improvements in emotion regulation, reducing impulsive behaviors, and developing interpersonal skills. I have been practicing as a DBT counselor for eight years since my certification in the modality. It has become a preferred method for me because the results are so quick, especially for reducing self-harm, with clients resolving their behaviors in as little as two weeks in some cases.

I have seen how the impacts made possible through DBT can be life-changing. The coping techniques you will learn can give you a renewed sense of hope and joy in your life and I can’t wait for you to see the benefits yourself.

Let’s Get Started With Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Today

DBT can help with many issues, including manic episodes due to bipolar disorder, panic due to trauma, and severe depression that makes it feel like you cannot even get out of bed or function, among other intense issues. I look forward to helping you explore how DBT can help you. Please reach out to Ample Grace Psychiatry through my contact page so we can begin your healing journey.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8522082/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963469/