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Top 7 Benefits of DBT for Navigating Life’s Challenges

Benefits of DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based approach to help anyone trying to navigate their challenges in life. As an evolution of cognitive behavior therapy, the benefits of DBT best help patients who have difficulty managing their emotions.

Many patients who benefit from DBT have a borderline personality disorder and struggle to manage:

  • Extreme emotions
  • Relationships

DBT helps a person find an effective coping strategy that they can use to overcome all of the life challenges that they’ll face.

In this article, we’re going to explore the leading DBT benefits, how these advantages help an individual cope with challenges in life, and provide a point of navigation that they can use when trying to overcome future difficulties.

The Top 7 Benefits Of DBT

Studies on DBT show a lower risk of hospitalization, suicide, and trait anger. The benefits of DBT therapy have a positive impact on a person’s life and include:

1. Emotional Regulation

If your extreme emotions and thoughts are causing you to suffer, DBT provides a clear understanding of what you’re feeling. When you can identify that you have complex emotions and realize that what you’re feeling may be amplified, it’s possible to practice emotional regulation.

Controlling your emotions is the main benefit of DBT and will allow you to better navigate the feelings that you experience in life.

2. Interpersonal Effectiveness

Relationships with others improve with DBT because you’ll have the skills necessary to:

  • Communicate your needs
  • Communicate effectively
  • Remain assertive
  • Set boundaries

Relationships, whether romantic or not, are two-way streets that require both parties to be happy. DBT breaks barriers and allows patients to communicate their needs.

3. Distress Tolerance

DBT’s second skill is distress tolerance. You’ll learn how to navigate times of crisis or distress through the power of acceptance. This form of therapy will empower you to:

  • Accept the situation
  • Let go of your “thoughts” about the situation

4. Mindfulness

DBT therapy benefits often start with mindfulness because a person will learn how to be mindful of their own thoughts and emotions. Through mindfulness, it’s possible to:

  • Analyze your thoughts
  • Review your emotions
  • Examine your actions

You’ll be mindful of all of these points while also not judging yourself in the process.

5. Crisis Management

When faced with a crisis, emotions can easily spiral out of control – and your behavior along with it.

DBT can teach you effective crisis management skills that help you make smarter, healthier decisions while regulating your emotions.

DBT Benefits

6. Building Resilience

DBT helps you develop skills and coping mechanisms that build resilience. When faced with stressful situations or crises, you will know exactly what to do to keep your emotions in check.

That resilience will give you the confidence to face just about anything life throws at you.

7. Self-Acceptance and Validation

DBT makes it possible to build strong, lasting relationships with others. How? It helps patients build the skills they need to have higher self-esteem and allows for self-acceptance. DBT helps you realize that you’re:

  • Complex
  • Triggered by strong emotions

Accepting yourself and working through the coping strategies taught in DBT will allow you to stop getting angry and even lashing out at others around you. You’ll learn to remain calm and understanding, which in turn allows you to forge lasting relationships.

You’ll be a good friend, understanding, and able to maintain a healthy social life

Who Can Benefit From DBT?

Although DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, this form of cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to help individuals with a variety of mental health conditions.

DBT tends to work best for individuals with complex mental health conditions that are otherwise difficult to treat. It can also be used in the treatment of symptoms such as:

  • Self-harming
  • Suicide attempts

Individuals who struggle to manage intense emotions or are experiencing a crisis may find relief with DBT.

Other disorders that may be treated with DBT include:

  • Anxiety: Learning to regulate emotions and modify behaviors can help reduce intense emotions like anxiety.
  • Depression: DBT can help people with depression develop the tools they need to take charge of their lives, regulate their emotions and start to feel better.
  • Bipolar disorder: Individuals with bipolar disorder can benefit from the emotion-regulating skills you develop with DBT as well as the behavioral changes that come with this treatment.
  • Addiction: Those who are addicted to substances, gambling or food often deal with strong, intense emotions. DBT teaches you how to get these feelings under control, which may aid in the treatment of these addictions.

The skills learned through DBT can benefit anyone, but those who are suffering from more complex mental health conditions often find that this form of therapy finally brings them the results they want.

How Long Does DBT Treatment Typically Last?

The benefits of dialectical behavior therapy can be life-changing, but they won’t happen overnight. Typically, DBT treatment lasts for a minimum of six months. Most patients will continue their treatment for a year or more.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that each person is unique, and mental health issues are complex. Some individuals may have a longer or shorter treatment period.

But more often than not, treatment takes more than a year. For individuals with borderline personality disorder, for example, treatment can take several years.

Don’t let the treatment duration discourage you. Many individuals start seeing improvements early on, and things only continue to improve over time. When you finally reach that finish line – whenever that may be – you will be able to enjoy a higher quality of life.

Seeking help is the most important thing, and progress is always something to celebrate.

Benefits of DBT Therapy

Are There Any Age Limitations For DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy benefits can apply to patients in many age groups, including young adults and teenagers. In fact, DBT is widely used as a therapy for children and adolescents aged 12-18 who are experiencing life difficulties.

One study found that there may also be some advantages to delivering DBT to individuals in age-specific programs.

DBT for children, known as DBT-C, was developed specifically to help pre-adolescent children who have severe difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviors.

Ultimately, the goal of DBT is to teach individuals the skills they need to regulate emotions and change unhealthy behaviors. The approach for adults will naturally be different from the approach taken with children and teens. For this reason, an age-specific program is ideal.

Summing Up

DBT can help individuals navigate life’s many challenges. Learning how to regulate your emotions, improve your tolerance for distress, deal with crises effectively and be more mindful can help you face difficulties head-on. The skills you develop through DBT can help you in everyday life situations and serve as valuable tools long into the future.

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