DBT/ Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Applications: Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, addictions, anger management, impulse control disorders 

Developed by: Marsha Linehan in the 1980’s.

This treatment methodology focuses on a life-saving approach, coupled with a strong consultation team.

The multimodal method includes several aspects:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group skills class training, comprising two therapists
  • In-the-moment phone coaching and
  • Consultation teams (ensuring motivated therapists based on faithful DBT principles).

The core assumptions underlying treatment include regulating difficult emotions, patients needing to solve their own problems (despite causes), and patients defining their own goals.

DBT unpacked

“D” represents Dialectic, which means the synthesis/integration of opposites.

Therapy encourages getting out of extreme positions and the bringing together of both acceptance and change.

Arriving at the whole truth (synthesis of extreme positions), the validation and understanding of a client facilitates change for the better. For this reason, compassion towards patients is an  essential component of the process.

“B” represents the behavioural approach of DBT, targeting behaviour to achieve goals and solve problems.

Patients are encouraged to replace unskilled actions with skilled ones.

In general, DBT is fully based on behaviour therapy principles.

DBT skills training addresses four modules:

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotional regulation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Distress tolerance.

The contact persons for DBT are: Daniel Rabinowitz daniel.psychologist@gmail.com –  www.danielpsychologist.com
Jeromy Mostert jeromymostert@gmail.com www.goodwoodpsychologists.com 

Resource: www.behavioraltech.org 

Beth Cooper Howell Proof reader/copy editor

Contributions by
Prof David Edwards
Dr Linda Blokland
Matthew Watkin
Edgar Tyrone
Bertus Swanepoel
Dr Shane Pienaar-Du Bruyn