DBT is a cognitive-behavioural based therapy that deals with emotional dysregulation (under- and over-control of emotions), along with associated behavioural problems. People who experience such emotional instability often also struggle with impulse control, interpersonal relationships, and their self-image.
DBT is based on a “dialectical” world-view of balancing opposites. It asks us to bring together acceptance of ourselves or situations on one hand, with making positive changes in our lives on the other. We look at problems in the context of the whole person and their environment, rather than in isolation, bringing together opposite positions to find a balance. Your therapist will help you to understand the intense emotions you feel and why you feel them, working with you to recognise and accept as well as find ways to change and develop more effective ways to deal with your distress and harmful behaviours.
What to Expect?
The relationship with your therapist is important in DBT, and we will cover both the skills work and the psychotherapy involved in the approach as part of weekly sessions. A DBT programme requires from you a long-term commitment of 6-12 months, along with your willingness to challenge your thinking and behaviours. We engage in ‘pre-treatment’, and four modules covering emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness.
Traditional DBT is delivered by a DBT practitioner team: this involves you attending the team’s skills group for two hours per week, as well as your own individual psychotherapy sessions weekly, and telephone support between sessions if needed. As I am an independent DBT practitioner we will not engage in group work or between session telephone support, therefore the approach is defined as ‘DBT informed’. Waiting lists for DBT with the NHS are considerable, and your psychiatrist or G.P may recommend engaging in therapy privately if it is preferable to you.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Suicidal / Self-harm behaviours
Bulimia or Binge Eating
Substance Abuse / Addiction