How Can Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Manage Bipolar Disorder Symptoms?

Dr. Marsha Linehan developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as a form of psychotherapy to treat various mental health issues, including BPD. It combines acceptance-based and mindfulness strategies to help individuals regulate their emotions and improve their relationships by striking a balance between acceptance and change. Since its inception, DBT has been used to manage other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder.

How does DBT manage bipolar disorder?

While Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is not a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder, it can be helpful as an adjunctive treatment for individuals who experience emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and interpersonal difficulties in addition to their bipolar symptoms. Here are some ways in which DBT can help with bipolar disorder:

Emotion regulation

Individuals with bipolar disorder may experience intense and unpredictable mood swings. DBT provides techniques for emotion regulation that can help individuals identify their emotions, decrease their vulnerability to mood swings, and increase their ability to tolerate difficult emotions.

Interpersonal effectiveness

Many individuals with bipolar disorder experience relationship difficulties, including conflicts, isolation, and problems setting boundaries. DBT offers strategies for improving communication, assertiveness, and social skills, which can lead to more satisfying and supportive relationships.

Distress tolerance

Individuals with bipolar disorder may experience intense anxiety and stress, which can be overwhelming and challenging to manage. DBT teaches individuals how to tolerate distress, manage crises, and develop coping strategies for difficult situations.


Mindfulness is a crucial component of DBT and can help individuals with bipolar disorder to develop an awareness of their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This increased awareness can help individuals manage their bipolar symptoms more effectively and reduce the risk of impulsive behavior.

DBT can be a helpful adjunctive treatment for individuals with bipolar disorder, particularly those who struggle with emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and interpersonal difficulties in addition to their bipolar symptoms. However, it is essential to note that bipolar disorder is a complex and often chronic condition and should be treated by a mental health professional with experience and expertise in treating bipolar disorder.

Grouport's DBT skills group can help

Want to practice dialectical behavior therapy in a supportive group setting? The Grouport DBT series by Grouport Therapy offers a 12-week program that can help you develop new skills to replace negative behaviors and emotions.

Our group meets once a week at a scheduled time, and you'll receive access to session links via email after enrolling and paying for the program. By joining our DBT skills group, you can improve relationships, manage anxiety, and reduce emotional suffering, regaining hope for the future.

Don't hesitate to take the first step towards a better life. Our next session is waiting for you. Join our Grouport DBT series today and start improving your mental health alongside a supportive group of individuals.

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