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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Suicide Prevention in Reno

Suicide Prevention with Dialectical Behavior Therapy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates have been steadily increasing in Nevada over the past decade, with suicide ranking as the ninth leading cause of death in our state. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of therapy that is becoming increasingly popular in Reno and other parts of the country. It was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder, but is now used to treat a variety of mental health concerns, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Validation and Change in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on two core components: validation and change. The validation component focuses on accepting and acknowledging an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without judgment. The change component focuses on identifying and changing negative or self-destructive behaviors.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Modules

DBT consists of four main modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Each module is designed to help individuals manage their emotions and behaviors in a healthy way, and to develop strong, positive relationships with others.

Mindfulness in DBT

At the core of all DBT modules lies mindfulness, which focuses on being present in the moment and cultivating awareness. By practicing mindfulness, individuals learn to observe their thoughts, emotions, and sensations without judgment or attachment. In the context of DBT, mindfulness exercises enable individuals to better cope with distressing emotions, reduce impulsive reactions, and increase self-acceptance.

Benefits of Mindfulness in DBT:

  • Improved emotional regulation
  • Reduced reactivity to stressors
  • Enhanced self-awareness and self-compassion
  • Increased focus and concentration

Distress Tolerance in DBT

Distress Tolerance focuses on building resilience and effective coping strategies when faced with intense discomfort or distress. This module equips individuals with techniques to tolerate distressful situations without resorting to self-destructive behaviors. Distress tolerance skills include self-soothing, distraction, and grounding exercises, which help individuals manage overwhelming emotions and prevent impulsive reactions.

Benefits of Distress Tolerance in DBT:

  • Ability to navigate difficult situations without harmful behaviors
  • Increased resilience and emotional stability
  • Improved decision-making during times of distress
  • Reduced impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors

Emotion Regulation in DBT

Emotion Regulation is dedicated to helping individuals identify, understand, and manage their emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. DBT provides techniques for individuals to regulate intense emotions, such as anger, sadness, or anxiety. Emotion regulation focuses on developing skills to increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotional experiences while avoiding emotional avoidance or suppression. By learning how to manage emotions, individuals can lower their risk of suicide and reduce the severity and frequency of their suicidal thoughts.

Benefits of Emotion Regulation in DBT:

  • Enhanced emotional understanding and awareness
  • Improved ability to respond to emotions in a healthy manner
  • Reduced vulnerability to emotional dysregulation
  • Promotes stable and balanced moods

Interpersonal Effectiveness in DBT

Suicide often happens when individuals feel isolated or disconnected from others. DBT works to improve interpersonal relationships by teaching individuals how to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts in a healthy way, and establish healthy boundaries. Interpersonal effectiveness  provides individuals with skills to express their needs, negotiate conflicts, and maintain interpersonal connections. It emphasizes effective listening, validation, and problem-solving to help individuals cultivate and maintain healthy and fulfilling relationships.

Benefits of Interpersonal Effectiveness in DBT:

  • Improved communication skills
  • Development of healthy boundaries
  • Enhanced conflict resolution abilities
  • Strengthened social support network

Get Started with DBT Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an effective treatment to help people who experience very intense, negative emotions. The sooner you can start therapy — and stay committed to it — the sooner you’ll have an improved quality of life. Overall, DBT can be an effective tool for those struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors. By teaching individuals how to regulate their emotions, improve their interpersonal relationships, and manage negative or self-destructive behaviors, DBT can help reduce the risk of suicide and improve individuals’ overall well-being. The best way to find out if DBT is right for you is to ask your provider, current therapist, or another trusted mental health professional to refer you to a colleague who specializes in DBT. You may also find online therapists who offer DBT therapy. A professional who is trained in the method will evaluate your symptoms, treatment history, and therapy goals to see if DBT might be a good fit.

Having Suicidal Thoughts?

Therapy from a professional therapist can make a profound difference in relieving suicidal thoughts. Being aware of the warning signs could reduce both suicide attempts and deaths. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, don’t feel like you need to tackle this on your own. Please seek immediate help by calling 911, a local emergency phone number or crisis hotline, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255).

If the situation isn’t imminent, your doctor can provide a referral to professional suicidal therapy or counseling for suicidal thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask for support from loved ones and close friends before, during, and after receiving suicidal therapy. Telling a therapist about suicidal thoughts may not be easy, but it is a vital first step in healing.

DBT Therapy with Healing Minds

Healing Minds has added a second location in Reno, which will operate solely as a center for dialectical behavioral therapy. The new Healing Minds is located on Reno Corporate Drive across from the new Sierra Medical Center. 

We employ a dedicated team of counselors and therapists in Reno, NV, who share a deep commitment for helping individuals and families rebuild and improve their lives. Our team offers a range of services to treat mental health issues, including individual therapy, group therapy, DBT, family counseling, and Telehealth therapy. 

Schedule an Appointment

At Healing Minds, we have therapists that can help you deal with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. Our Suicidal Prevention services can make the difference you need to step towards a full, whole life once again. Your life is special, it is worth living, and we are here to help you remember this; to listen and give you the tools to rewrite your story. Suicide is preventable. Please reach out to schedule a therapy appointment with a trained practitioner.  We offer in person or Telehealth therapy from the comfort of your own home.