How DBT Programs for Women Work?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a component of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This treatment is highly effective for women who have a hard time regulating and coping with their emotions. To put it simply, DBT is prescribed for women who often respond to emotions with self-harming behaviors like suicide attempts. The idea of DBT is to help these patients manage their emotions better, develop the ability to cope with stress, and interact with others.

Women tend to be more emotional, due to which DBT often works better for them. But this doesn’t mean it isn’t used to treat other genders. If you have a hard time living in the moment and find that stress overtakes your life, you can consider DBT.

Who Does DBT Help?

Dr. Marsha Linehan developed DBT in the late 1980s. This invention came after realizing that CBT didn’t work as well on people dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Since then, DBT has proven highly effective in treating certain disorders more than others. Even though DBT was originally used to treat BPD, it has immense scope if you are dealing with one or more of the following conditions:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Suicidal Tendencies
  • Depression
  • Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Self-harming Tendency
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Techniques of DBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has evolved since its inception. It has now become evidence-based psychotherapy, which is highly beneficial as it offers patients what science says and what they need according to their individual circumstances and conditions. Women looking to receive DBT treatment should have an idea of how DBT programs for women work and what standard DBT techniques they employ.

DBT is extended to patients through one of the following ways:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Phone coaching

Here are the four modules of DBT:

Stress Tolerance

DBT teaches, rather, aims to teach women distress tolerance. The idea behind DBT is that you can’t change the stressors in your life, but you can equip patients to manage this stress in a more effective manner that isn’t destructive for them. Over time, distress tolerance teaches women to develop a more healthy coping mechanism and adopt a more positive outlook on life. Of course, your situation won’t change. But the way you see that situation will definitely improve.

DBT teaches you to manage stress in one of the following ways:

  • Realistic ways to improve the situation
  • Learn how to self-soothe
  • Discover ways to distract yourself
  • Weigh out the pros and cons of a situation, i.e., not tolerating the stress at hand


Core Mindfulness

Mindfulness is often used by people, regardless of whether they are dealing with a psychiatric disorder. Practicing mindfulness allows you to live in the moment fully. It detaches any thoughts about the past or future that may worry you. Mindfulness is often touted as the foundation of DBT.

Mindfulness helps achieve the following:

  • Acute awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and impulses
  • Avoid spiraling down a negative thought pattern and unhealthy coping mechanism
  • Have the ability to understand and describe your situation in a way that is easy to understand

Your mental health expert might advise basic exercises to develop the art of mindfulness, starting with something as simple as focusing on your breath.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness comes after core mindfulness. Women with PTSD, general anxiety disorder, or others might have difficulty dealing with others. This can often strain their relationships, worsening their situation. DBT teaches them to manage their relationships in a healthier, more respectful manner.

The idea is to balance your relationships, i.e., not become too hostile or forgiving. DBT teaches women the following to improve their relations:

  • Learn the art of healthy communication
  • Learn how to say ‘No’

Learn how to let

  • go of any animosity
  • Learn how to respect themselves and others in relationships

Regulate Emotions

The regulation of emotions is the last technique you will learn in a typical DBT session. However, this doesn’t mean it’s not important. This is a crucial skill that women with psychiatric disorders need to learn and improve.

Most women find it hard to control and regulate their emotions, which leads to self-harm or other destructive behaviors. This adversely affects the quality of your life and negatively impacts your relationships. Since you can’t separate emotions from humans, DBT teaches healthier ways to manage these emotions, i.e., what you feel.

With emotion regulation, you will be able to:

  • Identify intense emotions (e.g., Anger)
  • Regulate these emotions
  • Feel less vulnerable

Should I Opt for DBT?

DBT is a commonly used treatment. However, if you’re wondering about its effectiveness, here are some of the benefits of DBT.

  • You will see a decreased urge to indulge in suicidal or self-harming behaviors
  • You will be able to manage and regulate emotions without becoming too angry
  • You will see an improvement in how you deal with others, improving personal relationships
  • You will feel more confident and positive about yourself
  • You will gradually let go of worries about the past and future and learn to live in the moment
  • You will be able to live a more balanced life
  • You will develop healthier coping skills

Final Word

If you need to develop healthier coping mechanisms and react less severely to change, you should consider DBT. DBT helps you find a balance between acceptance and change and reduce the severity of symptoms of your psychiatric condition.

If you need help discovering whether you need DBT, contact a professional. Once you decide to opt for this treatment, you will find inpatient DBT therapy near you. This allows you to focus on improving your condition, away from the same stressors that may exacerbate your condition while still under treatment.

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