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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapeutic modality that combines techniques from western cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psycho-educational modules, and eastern mindfulness-based practices. It was developed in the late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan as a therapeutic approach specifically geared to treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), suffering from pervasive suicidal thoughts and/ or attempts. DBT remains the gold-standard form of treatment for individuals with BPD and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), has since been recognized as an effective method of treatment for a wide range of other mental health disorders. The Mayo Clinic refers to the brain as the most complex organ in the human body. As indicated below, research suggests that DBT can change the brain:

  • Studies using brain imaging techniques have shown that individuals who have undergone DBT demonstrate changes in brain activity in regions involved in emotion regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex and amygdala.
  • Individuals who have received DBT show decreased activation in brain areas associated with emotional reactivity, suggesting that the therapy may help modulate emotional responses.
  • Research indicates that DBT can enhance cognitive control processes, such as inhibitory control and attentional flexibility, which are associated with specific brain regions involved in executive functions.
  • One study concluded that mindfulness practices, which are a fundamental component of DBT, are directly correlated to “changes in gray matter concentration in brain regions involved in learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking.”

It is possible for DBT to change one’s brain because of its neuroplasticity. Frontiers In Psychology defines neuroplasticity as “a general umbrella term that refers to the brain’s ability to modify, change, and adapt both structure and function throughout life and in response to experience.” Hence, the brain is a continuously evolving, highly adaptable organ. Neural pathways are developed through synaptic connections that occur in one’s brain, directly resulting from a person’s habits and behaviors. These connections create a map of a myriad of circuits within one’s brain which enable the brain to process various experiences and are essential in how the brain retains and accesses information. Neural pathways strengthen with repetition and can similarly become obsolete without repetition. The nature of DBT and the integration and repetition of certain DBT techniques can potentially reshape neural pathways and strengthen healthier patterns of thinking and behavior. Nevertheless, further research is required to fully understand the neural mechanisms underlying the effects of DBT on the brain.

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.

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