DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Marsha Linehan, a psychologist at the University of Washington, originally developed DBT in the 1980s. Although initially intended to help chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD; please refer to the accompanying fact sheet for information on BPD), DBT has since been adapted for and used to effectively treat a number of other psychological problems. The central dialectic within DBT is to balance acceptance of the person exactly as s/he is in this moment with intense efforts to change the person’s life to increase adaptive functioning and decrease maladaptive behavior. The overarching goal of treatment with DBT is to help individuals develop, as Dr. Linehan would say, “a life worth living.”
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