4 Things You Didn’t Know About Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Many people face challenges with depression, anxiety, and impulsive behavior. Research shows that anxiety is now the most common mental health disorder in children and adolescents. Long-term anxiety has significant negative health effects for people of all ages. In order to minimize anxiety in adulthood, it is important to develop emotional management skills during teenage years. One way to do this is through dialectical behavior therapy. Let’s check out four things you probably didn’t know about this emotionally focused therapy.

Emotional Intensity

One symptom of severe anxiety and depression is emotional intensity. This can occur in highly sensitive people, and often refers to individuals who are verbally or emotionally impulsive (reacting before they think things through). Emotional intensity is one reason behind people who get their feelings hurt easily or seem more loud and reactive than others. These individuals experience more emotional stimulation and take longer to calm down. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, was developed to treat emotional intensity and help people achieve more regular lives.

Clinical Trials

Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., came up with the idea for DBT in 1993. She observed that standard cognitive behavioral therapy did not work as well as hoped for people with intense emotions, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. That’s why she decided to pursue new techniques to help individuals achieve a better quality of life. DBT has been researched in clinical trials, much like new medications that are tested to determine whether or not they work better than others. Researchers have found that DBT has high rates of clinical efficiency for anxiety and depression in adolescents and adults, as well as binge-eating and personality disorders.


One of the core components of DBT is Mindfulness, or focusing on happiness and contentment in the present moment. Psychologists and therapists use mindfulness with their patients and encourage them to find and embrace something they are happy about right now. With anxiety and depression, many people obsesses over bad things that could possibly happen in the future, or dwell on past occurrences. In order to live a healthier life, it’s important that people notice and appreciate things in the present moment. This is one of the cool ways that DBT makes a difference in many lives.


DBT aims to teach interpersonal skills that help with assertiveness and interpersonal problem-solving. Everyone can benefit from these skills, as they support greater success in friendships, romantic relationships, and work environments. DBT highlights effective strategies for asking about one’s needs, saying no and coping with conflict. DBT can help individuals achieve their goals without damaging their self-respect or relationships with others. These tasks can be difficult for those with emotional intensity, but careful instruction, role-play scenarios, and lots of practice can have a huge impact.

Professional help can make a world of difference for those suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses. There are many options for dialectical behavior therapy in every part of the country, and it’s never too late to get help in achieving a healthier way of life.

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