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Do I Need Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Client in a dialectical behavior therapy program

Psychotherapy is a frontline resource for teenagers affected by mental health problems. Many treatment facilities offer multiple kinds of therapy options. Some of these options may work well for a given teen, while others may not. Today, many teenagers in mental health programs receive dialectical behavior therapy or DBT. Do you or your loved one need a dialectical behavior therapy program? That depends on the details of your situation. You can clarify your needs by learning more about the ins and outs of DBT for teens.

What Is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program?

Dialectical behavior therapy is a specific form of cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. All varieties of CBT help you change harmful behaviors by helping you change your thoughts and emotional responses. In DBT, certain unique methods are used in support of this goal.

The therapy is named for its approach. It asks you to do two things that you might normally think of as opposites. First, DBT asks that you accept the fact that you are affected by mental illness. It asks you to take concrete steps to change your situation as a follow-up.

It is the skillful use of both acceptance and change that distinguishes DBT. Acceptance skills gained in a DBT program include:

  • The ability to sit mindfully with your present reality
  • Greater tolerance for thoughts, emotions, and situations that put you in distress

Change-related skills include the ability to self-regulate your emotions. The therapy also builds your capacity to talk to others with openness and respect.

Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

A DBT program can provide you with a range of key benefits. Depending on your situation, potential benefits of DBT may include things such as:

  • A reduction in the severity of your mental health-related symptoms
  • Higher levels of self-esteem
  • Lowered risks for suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Improvements in your key personal relationships
  • A sense of self-empowerment
  • An improved general outlook on life and your place in it

In one way or another, all of these benefits stem from DBT’s dialogue between acceptance and change.

Can a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program Help You?

Do the benefits of dialectical behavior therapy apply to you? The therapy was originally created to help people with borderline personality disorder. Today, it is also used to help teens affected by other mental health issues. Examples of these issues include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, PTSD, and eating disorders. In addition, DBT can support a recovery in teenagers whose mental illnesses overlap with substance problems.

The benefits of DBT can be uniquely helpful for teenagers. Why? Unlike adults, teens have not yet completed their full brain development. One crucial area where the development process is still ongoing is impulse control.

A dialectical behavior therapy program can help teenagers improve their control over momentary impulses. It does so by helping you develop your problem-solving skills. When you gain the ability to work through your problems, you lose some of the incentive to act impulsively. The end result can be a level of mental flexibility that helps support your sense of well-being.

Seek the Benefits of DBT for Teens at Imagine Fort Collins

Need help determining if you or your teenager can benefit from DBT? Talk to the experts at Imagine Fort Collins. We specialize in treating mental health issues in teens between the ages of 13 and 17. We also help teenagers in this age bracket recover from co-occurring substance problems.

When appropriate, DBT is available to any teen enrolled at Imagine. All therapy is fully customized. In this way, we help ensure that every teenager gets the targeted help they need. Call today at 970.680.5887 to learn more.  You can also complete our online message form.