Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, is being used more and more by therapists across the board. Why? DBT works. It promotes new growth that you can see in your everyday life. It helps shift a person’s perspective toward acceptance. DBT teaches specific techniques to help people understand their patterns of negativity in their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Once you understand these self-sabotaging patterns, you can work to change them one step at a time. DBT is about making small changes, all while working to accept where you are on any given day. DBT helps a person appreciate the journey toward recovery. Here are five ways to know if DBT is a good fit for you:
Is (Dialectical behavioral therapy) DBT is for You
1) You struggle with overwhelming emotions. If you are someone who gets overwhelmed by your feelings on a regular basis, then DBT might be for you. I’m talking about feeling so depressed, or angry, that you act out impulsively, or make destructive decisions without thinking them through. You might be struggling with emotional eating, picking fights in your relationships, abusing drugs or alcohol, or having sex with inappropriate people. There’s a reason these things keep happening. You’re just to get some relief from what you’re feeling, but it ends up making everything worse. DBT can help end a self-destructive cycle.
2) You aren’t living according to your values. If you’re finding that you aren’t acting like the person you want to be, then there might be a discrepancy between who you are and what you’re values are. Values are important in DBT. For example, you might say you value honesty and friendships, but you tell a lie to get out of spending time with your friends. Maybe you say you value adventure and traveling, but you haven’t taken the time to do that in years. If the way you’re acting doesn’t reflect your values, then it might be time to give DBT a try.
3) You give everyone but you compassion. As a therapist, I see this all the time. People can be kind and caring to everyone but themselves. They can forgive the mistakes of others, but when they make a mistake, it’s like a stream of self-criticism. It’s like you’re waging a war on yourself, and it’s probably affecting you more than you know. DBT can help teach you self-acceptance that can grow into self-compassion.
4) You make personal goals, but never follow through. This could also be the person who says they want to do something over and over again, but are never actually able to get started. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure, and it’s not your fault. Maybe you just don’t have the right tools and support to start making positive changes in your life. DBT led by a therapist in an individual or group setting can give you those tools and support. Stop thinking you have to do it on your own, and ask for help. That can be the first small change you can make in working toward a better life for yourself.
5) You compare yourself to others. Comparing can be so toxic! If you are the person who is always looking at how other people are “better” than you, then please consider DBT. Comparing can really become a habit that overtakes a person’s life, even in small ways. For example, you could be standing in line waiting to order at your favorite food truck on Food Truck Tuesdays in Larkin Square. Maybe before you get your Ted’s Hot Dogs, or Flaming Fish, you’re trying to listen to what the person ahead of you is ordering, just for the sake of comparing! DBT teaches that the small stuff counts, too. Comparing yourself to others is a pattern of thinking that can change over time.
If any of these points sound familiar, then you can take the next step today. Give me a call ( 716.430.4611 ), send me an email, and we can set up a free initial consultation at Explore What’s Next. You’ll have nothing to lose, except maybe 30 minutes of your time. DBT can help people in both individual and group therapy. There are options to make it work for you—you don’t need to stand in your own way anymore.
Reassuring Photo by Jason Leung
Reassuring Words of Wisdom about Dialectical behavioral therapy by:
Christine Frank, LMSW
Christine understands what it’s like when you’re trying your hardest and an invisible hand is holding you back. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, or stupid, or unworthy of good things—it just means you could use some help. It helps to connect with someone who knows that your stories are worth listening to. Christine will hear your story. She’s a great listener.
Christine is easy-going, friendly, empathetic, non-judgmental. She’s funny and real in a down to earth way. She loves working with pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults to help them move through those difficult life transitions where a person can feel lost.
With Christine’s guidance and encouragement you can take the first step to a happier, healthier life.
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