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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 means to better treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), suffering from chronic suicidal ideation. 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. It is carried out in three therapeutic settings, including weekly individual psychotherapy (one-on-one therapy) sessions; weekly DBT skills training group therapy sessions, and access to twenty-four-hour support between sessions via phone coaching. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on teaching skills in four primary areas, which are known as the four modules of DBT. Each module highlights distinct and specific skills that build upon each other and are individually and collectively integral to the success of DBT. Nevertheless, as is true with any mental health intervention, DBT has its fair share of limitations, some of which include:

  • May be ineffective in treating trauma: According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, due to the fact that DBT does not necessarily involve any form of trauma processing, it is not and should not be considered a stand-alone treatment for trauma.
  • The format and duration of DBT may be a deterrent: The different layers of treatment required for DBT including the amount of time allocated to each of the four modules, the three different therapeutic settings, etc. may be perceived by some as overwhelming and discouraging. As a result, some individuals that could benefit greatly from dialectical behavior therapy view it as overly complex to the point that they are unwilling to try the treatment.
  • DBT is religiously integrated: The foundation of DBT is rooted in mindfulness practice based on Zen Buddhist teachings, therefore some clients (e.g., conservative or orthodox Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc.) may object to certain facets of DBT that are derived from eastern religious philosophies.
  • Large-scale research is lacking: Critics argue that additional research is required to determine if DBT works for those with varied or complex mental health concerns, as most of the available research on the efficacy of DBT includes small sample sizes and focuses on a specific sector of the mental health population.
  • The availability of comprehensive training for providers is insufficient: DBT relies on a detailed manual and demands an intensive amount of training to deliver the services as designed. In many of the research studies where DBT was found to be effective, the providers implementing the DBT treatment were doctoral-level students or higher, which the minimizes the availability of providers.

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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