Dialectic Behavioral Therapy

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an appropriate therapeutic approach for children or adults who struggle to understand and regulate their emotions, which may manifest as behavior problems, inappropriate anger, or relationship issues. It is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not helpful.

There are four key components to the Dialectic Behavioral Therapy approach:


Mindfulness is the practice of being conscious of the present moment, without judgment or trying to change. Breathing exercises or gentle physical exercises can be used to foster mindfulness.

Distress tolerance: 

Learning to cope with painful feelings and urges when you cannot make things better right way. The coping mechanism is three-fold: ‘distract, self-soothe and improve’.

Emotion regulation: 

Learning to experience emotions like a wave. Learning about emotional regulation helps the client to understand emotions, which reduces their vulnerability towards unhelpful emotions.

Interpersonal skills and ‘walking the middle path’: 

Building interpersonal skills helps the client to understand themselves better. The client will have a better understanding of their individual strengths and difficulties, and learn skills that help them to feel good about themselves and their relationships. Social support is a vital aspect of emotional wellbeing, and the client will learn skills to make friends and keep relationships going well.

DBT helps people develop these areas and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their ability to communicate.