What is DBT?

DBT-Informed Therapy incorporates principles and techniques from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) without strictly adhering to the full, structured DBT program. Originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan for treating borderline personality disorder, DBT combines cognitive-behavioural strategies with mindfulness practices to help individuals regulate emotions, develop healthy relationships, and cope with distress.

In DBT-Informed Therapy, therapists use core DBT skills and concepts such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness, but they integrate these techniques into a more flexible, individualized therapeutic framework. This approach allows therapists to adapt DBT strategies to suit the unique needs and goals of each client, making it applicable to a broader range of issues, including anxiety, depression, and trauma.

What to Expect in a DBT-Informed Therapy Session

In a DBT-informed therapy session, you can expect a collaborative and supportive environment where the therapist integrates key principles and techniques from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) tailored to your unique needs. The session may begin with a check-in to discuss recent challenges and progress. Your therapist will guide you through learning and practicing core DBT skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills are introduced in a flexible manner, focusing on the areas most relevant to your current situation. You might engage in practical exercises, role-playing, or mindfulness practices designed to help you manage emotions, cope with stress, and improve your relationships. Throughout the session, your therapist will provide empathetic support and constructive feedback, empowering you to apply these skills in your daily life.

Benefits of DBT-Informed Therapy

  1. Emotional Regulation: Helps individuals manage and stabilize intense emotions.
  2. Improved Coping Skills: Provides practical tools for handling stress, anxiety, and distress.
  3. Enhanced Mindfulness: Encourages present-moment awareness, reducing impulsivity and promoting calm.
  4. Better Interpersonal Relationships: Strengthens communication and relationship skills.
  5. Increased Resilience: Builds the ability to bounce back from adversity and challenges.
  6. Flexibility and Personalization: Tailored to individual needs, making it suitable for a wide range of issues.
  7. Practical and Action-Oriented: Focuses on actionable skills that can be applied in everyday life.
  8. Supportive Therapeutic Environment: Provides empathetic and constructive feedback, fostering a safe space for growth.
  9. Holistic Approach: Integrates cognitive-behavioural strategies with mindfulness practices for comprehensive mental health care.
  10. Versatile Application: Effective for a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and emotional dysregulation.