Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
DBT or Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is a form of an acceptance based behavioral therapy. Four sets of skills are taught in DBT that include: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. This blog will focus on the skill of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is being aware non-judgmentally of the present moment. Mindfulness is important as it helps to create awareness in the present moment when we are having an urge to act impulsively by helping us pause between the urge and acting on the urge. Mindfulness helps with decision making.
Practicing the skill of mindfulness includes the steps of: observing, describing, and participating.
With observing we practice this by noticing what is happening in our environment and within ourselves. We can observe also our thoughts and emotions. We can practice this with activities like eating or listening to music.
With the step of describing, we basically describe what we are observing. When describing, we describe only with facts and describe what we observe with our five senses. This step of describing can help slow things down and slow down our emotions.
Finally, the step of participating means to put yourself into the present moment. You can be in the present moment with any activities you do such as cooking, cleaning, or playing sports. When participating and in the present moment, you’re focused on the one activity at that moment.
DBT is one of many therapeutic approaches that might be explored in a counselling setting. If you’re interested in learning more, talk to your counsellor/therapist/psychologist, or check out some the resources in the references below.
The more you know, the better!
Eich, J. (2015). Dialectical behavior therapy skills training with adolescents : a practical workbook for therapists, teens & parents.
Linehan, M [Marsha Linehan]. (2017, April 14). How She Came to Develop Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bULL3sSc_-I
Rathus, Miller, Miller, Alec L, & ebrary, Inc. (2015). DBT skills manual for adolescents.
Shaller. E [Esme Shaller]. (2015, September 20). What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents (DBT)? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stz–d17ID4
Blog Post by Clinical Social Worker, Gary Mah