In DBT, individual therapy focuses on identifying a client’s specific behavioral patterns that are leading to ineffective or self-destructive behaviors. Missing skills are identified, and individual therapists teach and coach new skills to increase their client’s movement towards positive behavioral change. Individual therapy also focuses on maintaining a client’s motivation to stay committed to therapy and focused on behavioral change even when it becomes terrifying and difficult to live one’s life in a more skillful manner.
DBT Skills Training:
Within the DBT treatment framework, is the belief that many behavioral problems are a result of clients having skills deficits.
DBT Skills: The 5 Main Skills Modules
The 5 Main Skills taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy include:
- Core Mindfulness Skills
- Distress Tolerance Skills
- Emotion Regulation Skills
- Interpersonal effectiveness skills
- Middle Path skills.
Mindfulness Skills are considered core skills in DBT because they help individuals develop their ability to control their attention which is a skill that is needed before they can learn to regulate their emotions. In this skills module, the primary goal is to help clients learn to participate fully in their lives while being non-judgmental, staying one-mindful, and focusing on being effective in moving towards their long-term life goals.
Distress Tolerance Skills
Distress Tolerance Skills are taught so that clients can learn to cope with periods of intense emotions and stress without behaving in a way that would make the situation or problems worse. These skills provide clients a more effective way of managing crisis situations by means of distraction, improving the moment, and self-soothing. Distress tolerance skills for chronic problems and stressors help individuals learn to accept reality by practicing the skills of radical acceptance, willingness and turning the mind.
Emotion Regulation Skills
Emotional Regulation Skills help individuals appreciate the purpose of emotions when encountering different problems and situations. Clients learn to accurately identify and label emotions, change emotional responses to situations, reduce vulnerability to negative emotions, and learn to manage extreme emotions. For most clients, the development of emotion regulation skills includes the process of learning an emotion vocabulary that helps them recognize and communicate their emotional needs to others.
Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills
Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills are taught so that clients learn to balance the ability to be assertive (ask for what they want and to say no), keep and improve relationships, and increase self-respect. The goal is to decrease interpersonal conflict, improve active interpersonal problem-solving, and build positive social supports.
Middle Path Skills
Middle Path Skills were added to the DBT skills to help families and teens manage the relevant issues within their relationship. These skills help clients learn to balance acceptance and change so they are able to see that there is more than one way to view a situation or solve a problem. A primary goal of this module is for clients to work on changing painful or difficult thoughts, feelings, or situations while also accepting themselves, others and their current problems.
In Vivo Skills Coaching
At DBT Psychological Services of Long Island, in vivo skills coaching helps our clients learn to use skills in all important areas of their lives. Skills coaching is available between sessions in the form of calls or texts from your treating clinician for in-the-moment support. The goal of this DBT skills coaching technique is to focus on solving a current crisis situation using new skills and to divert the need for higher levels of care.
DBT Consultation Team
An important aspect of the DBT approach is recognizing that therapists need support so they can best help and treat their clients. The weekly consultation team meeting prioritizes therapists maintaining adherence to DBT treatment principles and practices, conceptualizing client cases in a compassionate and skillful manner, and problem-solving as a team.
Multi-Family DBT Skills Training
Because research clearly indicates that family involvement in DBT helps clients succeed, a weekly family group is offered. Family members are provided with psychoeducation about diagnoses, evidence-based treatment practices, and the DBT framework. They are taught the same DBT skills modules so that they can be familiar with the new behavioral coping skills being learned and practiced by their loved ones.
If you think DBT Therapy could be right for you or for a loved one, contact us today.