Skip to main content

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic mental health disorder. BPD is characterized by a “pervasive pattern of instability and hypersensitivity in interpersonal relationships, instability in self-image, extreme mood fluctuations, and impulsivity.” Emotional dysregulation is a term used within the mental health field to denote irrational, poorly modulated emotional responses, which is a core feature of borderline personality disorder.

DBT Basics

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based, rigidly structured form of psychotherapy. It was developed by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s as a treatment method specifically designed for chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. DBT combines techniques from western cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psycho-educational modules, and eastern mindfulness-based practices to foster the systematic learning of new emotional coping skills. DBT is carried out in three therapeutic settings: weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly DBT skills training group therapy sessions, and as-needed phone coaching. This allows participants to engage in individualized and collective treatment while focusing on the four modules of DBT, which are core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation.

Emotion Regulation Skills

Emotion regulation is defined as “the process by which individuals influence which emotions they have, when they have them, and how they experience and express their feelings. Emotional regulation can be automatic or controlled, conscious or unconscious, and may have effects at one or more points in the emotion producing process.” The DBT emotion regulation module focuses on skills that are aimed to help individuals learn to experience strong emotions while simultaneously reducing the intensity of the emotions, without acting impulsively on them. This module provides education regarding the function of emotions as well as teaches an array of important skills surrounding emotion regulation, such as:

  • Opposite action skill: As the name suggests, individuals are taught to act the opposite of how they feel. First, identify how you are feeling and do the opposite (e.g., if you are feeling sad and want to withdraw from loved ones, make plans to spend time with them instead).
  • Cope ahead skill: This skill is intended encourage individuals to consider how they might be prepared in some way to reduce stress ahead of the time. Come up with a plan that prepares you to skillfully navigate and cope with emotional situations.
  • Positive self-talk skill: Positive self-talk encourages self-confidence, effective coping, achievement, and a general feeling of well-being. Select a few affirmations, or positive statements, that speak to you and then repeat them regularly.
  • STOP skills: STOP is an acronym for Stop, Take a step back, Observe, and Proceed mindfully, which can help an individual avoid engaging in impulsive behavior.
  • PLEASE skills: Are guidelines to remind people to prioritize physical health, because physical health is closely tied to mental health.

The goals of this module are threefold: to understand one’s emotions, reduce emotional vulnerability, and decrease emotional suffering.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Back to top