Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Superior Essays
In the 1950s and 1960s there was a break from behavioral therapy in which theorists began realizing that our thoughts and behaviors are related more than was previously recognized. Social learning theory was one of the first approaches that recognized that there was a strong cognitive underpinning to human behavior and learning. Albert Bandura, a well-known behaviorist, acknowledged that cognitive functions were present during his aggression experiments. He linked those cognitive factors to memory and how an individual recalls the actions of others and incorporates those memories into how they behave. (Bandura, 1999) Social learning theory further recognized the cognitive aspects of learned behaviors through the research of Rotter (1960). In …show more content…
Linehan. Her purpose was to target the treatment of borderline personality disorder. DBT treatment is an approach that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and unique way toward certain emotional stressors, primarily those found in interpersonal relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than average, reach a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take a longer period of time to return normal emotional levels. (Linehan et al, …show more content…
It helps people to learn different ways of thinking that will make life more bearable and normalizes more assertive emotional responses. DBT is considered to be support-oriented in that it targets individual’s strengths rather than their weaknesses. These strengths are utilized in treatment in order to allow the client’s self-esteem to grow. The therapeutic relationship is collaborative in that the client and therapist are having constant interaction. Clients are encouraged to work out their daily struggles with the therapist and therapist are encouraged to do the same. This is an interesting shift from the typical therapeutic relationship as the therapist is encouraged to disclose personal struggles in order to model DBT techniques in their own life for the client. This therapy requires clients to complete homework assignments, to role-play new ways of interacting, and to practice skills such as self-soothing. The individual therapist helps the person to learn, apply and master the DBT skills. DBT has 4 potential stages in which a client can move through in order to build a foundation for coping skills and utilize different techniques to move through daily life more efficiently. (Neacsiu, Ward-Ciesielski, & Linehan

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