What to Know About Dialectical Behavior Therapy



Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral therapy that was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder but is now proven to be effective for a variety of mental health disorders. 

The reason why DBT is so effective is because it gives patients that have trouble moving through hardships resources to make positive behavioral changes. These changes will aid those struggling to move past negative emotions and accept distress.  During the process, patients will identify negative thought patterns and understand the effect that they have on other aspects of their life. 


The five core modules of DBT discussed below can provide patients with tools to feel peace with their reality. 

  1. Mindfulness- This module comes first because it is the foundation of DBT. Patients must practice living in the present moment and accepting their current fate. It also teaches a person to think about their thoughts and feelings while also realizing the way they react is their choice. 

  2. Emotion Regulation-  Patients must learn how to effectively control one’s emotions and respond in a less reactive way to people and situations. During this part of the process the patient will focus on how to categorize their feelings and learn how to let them go so that emotions don’t interfere with decision making. 

  3. Interpersonal Effectiveness- Learning how to navigate interpersonal effectiveness is important in that it teaches patients how to maintain relationships while also setting boundaries for personal needs. This will aid those in approaching situations objectively instead of emotionally. 

  4. Distress Tolerance- Also known as an “acceptance strategy” that will help patients find healthy and appropriate ways to tolerate intense emotions without engaging in problematic behaviors. 

  5. The Middle Path- The fifth part of this process focuses on balancing both acceptance and change. This skill aids patients in managing patterns of thought and behavior. 

At Forsythia Behavioral Health Services we provide DBT therapy to those in need. Come by during our Urgent Behavioral Health Care Clinic hours Monday-Friday 12:30pm-2:00pm, walk in only. We will provide you with an assessment and information on the best way to start working through your mental illness. 



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12 Basset St. Suite 2,

Providence RI 02903

Phone: (401) 424-5200

Fax: (401) 424-5162

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