Therapist Holli Erkson providing dialectical behavior therapy to a client.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

What is DBT?

You struggle to control your intense emotions. And, the thought of facing another challenge or crisis is overwhelming and frightening. Even when you try to regain control, you end up causing more harm than good.

It feels like no one understands your experiences. Your friends, romantic partner, and family think you’re being dramatic and they struggle to give you the validation you need.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) aims to help change the way we react to our experiences, both emotionally and behaviorally. DBT helps you go from black and white thinking to accepting your experience and changing for the better. With a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and specific skills to improve your experiences, DBT can help you lead a happy and healthy life.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

What is DBT?

Therapist Holli Erkson providing dialectical behavior therapy to a client.

You struggle to control your intense emotions. And, the thought of facing another challenge or crisis is overwhelming and frightening. Even when you try to regain control, you end up causing more harm than good.

It feels like no one understands your experiences. Your friends, romantic partner, and family think you’re being dramatic and they struggle to give you the validation you need.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) aims to help change the way we react to our experiences, both emotionally and behaviorally. DBT helps you go from black and white thinking to accepting your experience and changing for the better. With a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, and specific skills to improve your experiences, DBT can help you lead a happy and healthy life.

DBT Can Treat These Symptoms:

DBT was originally designed to treat suicidal ideation and borderline personality disorder, But, over time it has been found that DBT is beneficial to treat the following:

  • Substance Use
  • Risky Sexual Behaviors
  • Self-injury
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Impulsive Behaviors
  • Anger outbursts & Aggression
  • Rapid mood shifts
  • Extreme sensitivity to refusal/rejection
  • Depression
  • Relationship challenges (romantic or familial)

How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Help

Our therapists realize that many of the challenges listed above co-exist and can cause you to really struggle. In fact, many clients share that when they have lots of bad days in a row, they feel like there are no other options than engaging in self-harm or substance abuse.

By participating in group therapy and engaging in specific DBT skills use, they realized that they are not alone in their experience. In fact, they can have control of their happiness in a healthy way. One of the most important aspects of DBT is validation, and our DBT therapists are here to provide that for you. Though they may not share the same experience or challenge that you do, they can see the toll that it is taking on you.

Sometimes we need to hear that the experience we are going through is valid in order to recognize the impact it is having on us.

DBT Skills Training Helps You Cope with Life’s Challenges

DBT incorporates skills training that can be used to help you in coping with the challenges you face in a healthy way. These skills will help you improve your relationship with yourself and others. The five core skill sets are:

Mindfulness: Gain more control over your behavior and decisions, lessen emotional suffering, increase pleasure, increase empathy for yourself and others, and help in focusing your attention.

Distress Tolerance: Accept reality as it is, survive crisis situations, cope with distress in an effective way.

Walking the Middle Path: Work towards acceptance and change, validation, improve relationships, increase healthy behaviors and decrease harmful behaviors.

Emotion Regulation: Begin to understand your emotions, accept your emotions and understand your needs in relation to your emotions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: Keeping and maintaining healthy relationships, problem-solving, maintaining self-respect, achieving goals, and reduce conflict.

If you don’t feel like you have a clear answer, we recommend giving it 6 months before making any definite decision. During this time, diving into therapy is a great way to start processing and working through the pain of what you’re going through.

Factors of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT takes a layered approach to help you through the different stages of your experience. It is important to note that you may go back and forth in the stages, and that’s okay! Having a brief understanding of the stages will help in understanding how DBT will work for you.

Stages of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Stage One: During this stage, you will work on overcoming the most self-destructive behaviors you may be engaging in (i.e., self-injury). You will focus on gaining control of your behaviors and reaching a sense of steadiness.

Stage Two: Once you have a sense of control over your behaviors, you may still feel like you are emotionally suffering. During this stage, you will focus on the underlying emotions that are contributing to your distressing thoughts or behaviors.

Stage Three: This is when you can start to focus on what happiness means to you. By using skills learned through DBT you can move towards setting goals and self-validation. This will help you create and maintain the life you want to live, even when there are still hard days.

Stage Four: The goal of this stage is to promote the joy you have found in life, with yourself, and in your relationships with others.

Next Steps

Begin Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Ohio or Kentucky…

If you are struggling with feeling like your emotions are out of control, then our team of relationship therapists is here to help you and your partner decide what the next steps in your relationship should be. To begin counseling in Cincinnati, OH, online therapy in Ohio, online therapy in Kentucky, online therapy in Indiana, follow these steps:

Contact our Office

Contact hey emma to ask all your questions.

Schedule a Free Consult

Meet with a skilled DBT therapist.

Start Your Therapy

Begin DBT and begin your journey towards healing.

Other Services offered at Hey Emma

More to check out…

The therapy team at Hey Emma specializes in offering sex therapy. But that’s not the only therapy service they provide at one of the offices or online across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. In addition to sex therapy, our therapists treat general mental health and relationship concerns. We treat many different sexual concerns including sexual pain and erectile dysfunction, and we offer anxiety treatment, depression treatment, trauma and PTSD treatment, EMDR, and relationship and couples therapy. We also offer therapy in Cincinnati, OH, West Chester, OH, Ft. Mitchell, KY, and Indianapolis, IN. Contact our office to learn more about the many ways our team of skilled clinicians can help you thrive.