Because DBT was developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder, it has certain assumptions about the client built into its treatment approach. First, it assumes that the client may have poor coping mechanisms and emotion regulation, as well as an unstable sense of self and how to create and maintain healthy relationships with others. It also assumes that clients may see suicide as a valid problem-solving technique for these issues. To address them, DBT takes a multifaceted approach that usually includes individual and group therapy, as well as team communication and collaboration among all treatment providers for a client.
Within treatment, DBT has a very specific and structured set of skill sequences, grouped into four areas. Two areas, mindfulness and distress tolerance strategies, are acceptance skills. The other two, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness techniques, are change skills. Mindfulness techniques teach the client to observe, experience, and accept emotions nonjudgmentally. This is the area that is most closely related to third wave CBT. Distress tolerance techniques allow clients to remain calm and in control when distressing situations occur, rather than spiraling into destructive or impulsive behavior. The goal, again, is to nonjudgmentally accept the negative situation and find ways to deal with its pain or discomfort. Emotion regulation skills are goal-oriented and seek to identify emotions and manage or address any that are difficult or inappropriate. Finally, interpersonal effectiveness skills train clients in effective ways to interact with others so that they may maintain healthy relationships across different facets of their lives (personal, professional, etc.). This skill area is also related to behavioral therapy techniques.
Just as you did last week with ACT, for this Discussion, you consider the basic tenets of DBT and evaluate its relationship to social change.
- Read the articles and review the media related to Dialectical Behavior Therapy in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider how or whether any parts of this approach resonate professionally with you.
- Consider whether DBT is related to social change.
With these thoughts in mind:
Write a 1-2 page by explaining whether you agree with Linehan’s belief that DBT can be related to positive social change, and why. What tenets of DBT support your position? Be specific and provide examples to support your argument.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. Use proper APA format and citations.