What Happens In DBT Therapy: 5 Things To Keep In Mind

Here at Grouport we offer a wide variety of therapy types conducted completely online, from the comfort of your home. These sessions often include various forms of psychotherapy and talk therapy, including but not limited to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Our therapists are well versed in treating a wide variety of mental health issues and other conditions, and are formally trained in many different therapeutic approaches, including DBT.

Typically, individuals who wish to receive DBT therapy will enroll in a DBT skills groups in order to practice what they’re learning in individual therapy. Combined, these two amazing resources can help you make significant progress in a short amount of time. 

Here are five things to keep in mind as you embark on your DBT journey:

1. DBT is not just for people who have BPD. While Marsha Linehan indeed founded DBT to treat patients suffering from borderline personality disorder back in the 1980s, DBT has since been expanded to successfully treat a wide variety of other issues, including (but not limited to) anxiety and depression. DBT can also be of help to you if you have issues with interpersonal relationships as well as managing your behaviors and/or emotions.

2. DBT skills groups function more like classes than therapy sessions. When you envision DBT groups, you might imagine more of a group therapy session. However, while DBT groups do provide the oversight of a licensed mental health provider, these groups are actually more like enrolling in a social interactions class as opposed to therapy. This is because every week, you and your group are taught a new skill by your group leader, and you are given homework related to practicing that skill. 

3. DBT skills groups are not the same as process groups. As stated previously, DBT skills groups are not like normal group therapy sessions, in which group members simply go around in a circle and share their feelings, personal stories, and/or emotions with one another. 

4. Seeing the benefits of DBT takes time. DBT is not a quick fix for your issues: its positive effects take time. It takes about 24 weeks to finish your DBT skills training, or approximately six months. Some individuals will even opt to take several DBT cycles (over the course of years) to better hone their skills. But don’t worry - while enrolling in DBT is, indeed, a major commitment, you will likely see major benefits to your quality of life long-term. 

5. DBT begins with mindfulness practices. One of the core skills you will learn in DBT is mindfulness. In fact, it is likely that your weekly DBT skills meetings will begin with a mindfulness practice, such as mindfully coloring, sitting with your eyes closed, or even eating. You will continue to learn mindfulness techniques as you soldier on through your DBT journey to improve your mental health, communication skills, and emotional regulation.

If you enroll in a DBT skills group, you should expect to develop skills in four chief areas:

1. Interpersonal effectiveness: Equips individuals with techniques that can help them better communicate with the people around them in ways that strengthen their relationships, make them more assertive, and help them maintain their self respect.

2. Emotion regulation: Teaches individuals strategies that can help manage and potentially even alter intense emotions that are causing issues in their lives. 

3. Mindfulness: Zeros in on helping individuals accept and remain present in the moment at hand.

4. Distress tolerance: Helps increase tolerance of negative emotions (instead of reacting intensely or trying to escape them).

Learn more about Grouport’s DBT therapy Groups.

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