Marsha Linehan, PhD from the University of Washington, has provided the nearly impossible. She has led the way in treating patients with a very disabling disorder known as Borderline Personality Disorder. Dr. Linehan, though she might deny it, is a committed Zen Budhist. Dealing with the difficult balances that impinge upon us all daily, is the very foundation of her expertise. Those imbalances are especially difficult for her patients, but I, and others contend, the same is true for most of the rest of us.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy, aka DBT, was developed in the late 1970’s by Dr. Linehan and colleagues when they discovered that cognitive behavioral therapy alone did not work as well as expected in patients with borderline personality disorder. Dr. Linehan and her team added additional techniques and developed a treatment which would meet the unique needs of these patients.
DBT was developed to help people who have trouble in the realms of “thinking, relationships, emotions, and coping” – sounds like most of us, no?
A core component of DBT is “mindfulness” – gaining control of your mind, rather than letting it control you.”
Another component is “interpersonal effectiveness” – which involves, a) getting your objectives met in a situation, b)get/keep good relationships, c) keep/improve self respect and liking of one’s self.
A third component is “emotion regulation” which involves 1) understanding emotions one experiences, 2) reducing emotional vulnerability, and 3) decreasing emotional suffering.
In case I was not clear, I have always thought that these skills could be used by most of us, me included.
What do you bloggers think?