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How Can Dialectical Behavior Therapy Help?

people in group therapy discussing how can dialectical behavior therapy help

If you or a loved one is currently struggling with a mental health issue or substance use disorder, several different therapeutic approaches can be used for recovery. While some people require medication, others might benefit from psychotherapies.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic approach that is effective in treating various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance use disorders. You might consider a dialectical behavior therapy program if you seek solutions for yourself or a loved one. 

How can dialectical behavior therapy help? At Northpoint Seattle, our team of professionals is ready to discuss our dialectical behavior therapy program with you. Reach out to us today via 888.483.6031.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy? 

Dialectical behavior therapy is a therapeutic approach developed in the late 1980s to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT has since been adopted and found effective in treating a range of mental health conditions, including mood disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and more. DBT is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that integrates acceptance and mindfulness strategies. 

“Dialectical” refers to the synthesis of opposites. In this context, it involves finding a balance between acceptance and change. DBT recognizes that individuals have conflicting desires, such as acceptance and change, and aims to help them find a middle path. 

How Can Dialectical Behavior Therapy Help? 

There are several benefits of dialectical behavior therapy. Some key components of DBT include: 

  • Individual therapy
  • Skills training
  • Mindfulness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Emotion regulation 
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Validation 
  • Behavioral chain analysis 

Individual Therapy

Clients meet one-on-one with a therapist regularly. Their counselor will help them address specific issues, applying a dialectical framework to balance acceptance and change. 

Skills Training 

DBT includes group skills training sessions where individuals learn and practice specific coping skills. These skills are organized into modules, including mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. 


Mindfulness is a core component of DBT. It involves being fully present in the moment, observing thoughts and feelings without judgment, and cultivating awareness. Mindfulness skills help individuals tolerate distress and make healthy choices in challenging situations. 

Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance skills focus on helping individuals manage crises without resorting to harmful behaviors. Techniques include distraction, self-soothing, and improving the moment. 

Emotion Regulation 

This module teaches individuals to recognize and regulate intense emotions. It includes identifying and labeling emotions, understanding the function of emotions, and developing healthy ways to manage them. 

Interpersonal Effectiveness 

Interpersonal effectiveness skills aim to improve communication, assertiveness, and the ability to navigate relationships effectively. Individuals learn to set boundaries, say no, and build healthier connections with others. 


Both self-validation and interpersonal validation are emphasized in DBT. Validation involves recognizing and accepting one’s own emotions and experiences, as well as acknowledging the experiences of others. 

Behavioral Chain Analysis

This technique involves examining the chain of events that lead to a problematic behavior. By identifying triggers, thoughts, feelings, and responses, individuals gain insight into the patterns that contribute to challenges. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Benefits

There are some dialectical behavior therapy benefits. Dialectical behavior therapy can help improve a person’s quality of life while offering ongoing support via phone coaching. Phone coaching allows immediate access to guidance, which can be crucial during challenging moments. DBT offers support in a judgment-free zone. 

Begin Dialectical Behavior Therapy Today with Northpoint Seattle

Mental health conditions can be incredibly challenging and complex to manage for both the individual and the people around them. If you or a loved one is currently struggling, dialectical behavior therapy might be a helpful option for you. Contact our Northpoint Seattle team today by calling 888.483.6031 or completing our online form to discuss treatment options.