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DBT: What is it? Help for Bipolar Disorder & Borderline Personality Disorder

DBT: What is it? Help for Bipolar Disorder & Borderline Personality Disorder

What is DBT? Dialectical Behavior Therapy is "combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice (" It has been shown to be effective in treating Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Self-Injury, and other mood disorders. It was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan beginning in the 1970s. Techniques derived from this type of therapy can be very helpful in managing symptoms of personality and mood disorders. If you are a therapist, it is encouraged to learn more about these techniques to incorporate them into your practice if you are not already aware of DBT. If you are a patient/client, ask your therapist if they do any DBT techniques. This could really decrease your symptoms if you fall under the category of any of the above mentioned disorders.

Part of DBT is a technique called mindfulness. It helps you to practice and utilize focusing on an innocuous item or topic. By doing this, you can center your attention away from desires to seek attention negatively, self-harm, use substances, wallow in depressed/angry moods, etc. A good website on DBT is In particular, try observing your environment, describe/express your environment, and fully participate in your environment. It is important to do these things without judgment, try focusing on one thing in your environment, and to be "effective" in doing it.

Mindfulness is just one skill under the DBT umbrella. There are many other pieces to it. It is encouraged to research this further to gain a better understanding of the other skills it uses. You can find a lot on internet; however, make sure if you are trying to utilize these skills to get assistance from a professional savvy in DBT.


2 comments (Add your own)

1. Rick wrote:
Having been through DBT myself I can safely say that it is not curative nor remotely helpful for all suffering with Borderline Personality Disorder. Plus, your succinct "article" gave no new insight to the treatment techniques of BPD that hasn't already been said. All "mindfullness" consists of an old Eastern (Buddhism) meditation practice meeting the ridiculous standards of Western psychology. In fact, BPD was pretty much ignored for much of the 70's into the mid 90's by the likes as yourself (if you are legit) and now DBT is the new pop psychology of the day. Dangerous, really.

Tue, October 19, 2010 @ 9:26 PM

2. Cyclothymic disorder wrote:
The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t completely understood, but it often runs in families. The first manic or depressive episode of bipolar disorder usually occurs in the teenage years or early adulthood. The symptoms can be subtle and confusing, so many people with bipolar disorder are overlooked or misdiagnosed–resulting in unnecessary suffering. But with proper treatment and support, you can lead a rich and fulfilling life.

Thu, April 21, 2011 @ 1:19 AM

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