Dialectical behavioural therapy, or DBT, has been used in many settings to help people with borderline personality disorder. This psychological treatment can also be used in the healthcare industry to improve patients’ health and reduce the frequency of emergency room visits and hospital stays. The use of DBT in healthcare helps doctors and other medical professionals learn how to work more effectively with these individuals. Let’s take a look at some uses of dialectical behavioural therapy in the healthcare industry and how it can help you to provide better care for your patients.

What is DBT?

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a treatment program that has been shown to be effective for treating mental illnesses such as borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. Often combined with other forms of treatment, DBT can help patients cope with stress and develop better social skills. Although it was originally developed as a type of cognitive behavioural therapy, DBT is now considered an offshoot of traditional CBT.

Why use DBT?

DBT is a treatment for adults with long-term problems of intense emotions, very disturbed relationships with other people, and behaviour that is self-destructive or impulsive. Emotions such as fear, anger, shame and sadness can be very intense for a person living with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This can cause problems at work and in social settings. DBT helps people learn how to better manage their emotions and behaviours during times of stress.

How does DBT help?

Dialectical behavioural therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on improving relationships with yourself and others. It can help you break down your emotions into manageable parts. That way, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t know how to cope with certain emotions, you can choose how to respond to them. Many people say DBT has helped them deal with difficult emotions like anger, sadness and anxiety.

When should I use DBT?

Dialectical behavioural therapy is a treatment for mental health disorders. It’s not a one-size-fits-all model, but it can help you address depression, anxiety and trauma. The goal of DBT is to help people be more aware of their actions and to change maladaptive behaviours so they can lead happier lives.  (It might also reduce your reliance on opiates.) If you think DBT could benefit your life—or someone else’s—it may be worth giving it a try. (Do keep in mind that because these therapies are often tailored to each patient, there aren’t exactly set dosages.) Here are some situations where you may want to talk with your doctor about using dialectical behavioural therapy: You have suicidal thoughts or have tried suicide before. You have trouble regulating your emotions or controlling impulsive behaviour.

Who can use DBT?

DBT was initially developed to treat patients with borderline personality disorder, but it is useful for anyone who struggles with managing emotions and relationships. According to Linehan, there are four types of people who could benefit from learning DBT skills: 

  1. Those struggling with suicidal ideation; 
  2. Those diagnosed with BPD and who suffer from uncontrollable anger and conflict in their relationships; 
  3. People in abusive relationships; and 
  4. Anyone struggling to manage intense or overwhelming emotions.
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