Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) helps clients learn and adapt healthier methods of coping with painful emotions through acceptance and change. There are four key skills sets intended to assist in improving coping skills:
- Increasing self-awareness
- Regulating self-defeating thoughts
- Correcting black-or-white thinking
- Managing conflict and stress better
Learning and applying new skills is a main component of DBT and clients are encouraged to practice new skills throughout the week. Mindfulness is an essential skill that is used to help clients accept moments in the present, preventing them from acting or reacting with negative behaviors. Interpersonal effectiveness helps to improve how clients interact with others as they learn to ask for what they want, refuse an offer, and cope with conflict in a healthy and effective way.
Other skills, such as distress tolerance helps clients learn how to deal with pain and tolerate and survive a crisis. Emotion regulation allows clients to identify and label their emotions and obstacles applying distress tolerance strategies, all while increasing mindfulness and positive emotional events.