DBT Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

Disorder/rebel

Are you diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), or think you may have it?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has proven to be especially useful for that very condition.

Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. developed DBT therapy developed this type of psychotherapy.

DBT therapy is a type of what people may call "talk therapy." DBT therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

DBT focuses on cognition, which is the thoughts, beliefs, and behavior of someone who has developed and is in treatment for BPD.

There is plenty of research support for DBT therapy working for people with BPD. We will go over what BPD is, what BPD symptoms are, what DBT therapy is, and how DBT therapy's four modules could help you.

Continue reading to learn about how DBT therapy is helpful for people with BPD!

Coping Skills Therapists in Colorado

Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Joel Harms, MA, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Laura Hunt, LPC

Laura Hunt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Leigh Harlan, LPC

Leigh Harlan, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Melissa Peterson, LPC

Melissa Peterson, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Stefanie Kerr, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Stephanie Kol, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374

What is BPD?

BPD impacts how one thinks and feels about themselves and others.

BPD causes functioning issues in everyday life.

People with BPD may have unstable relationships, trouble managing their emotions and behavior, and self-image issues.

If you have BPD, you may have a serious fear of abandonment and do not want to be alone.

What is interesting is that frequent mood swings, impulsiveness, and anger may push away other people, even though you want lasting, loving relationships.

It is by early adulthood that BPD usually begins. It is usually worse in young adulthood and can improve with age.

Many people with BPD get better with treatment and have learned to change things in their lives to make them satisfied.

BPD Symptoms

BPD affects how one feels about themselves, how they relate to others, and their own behaviors.

People with BPD may use extreme measures to escape imagined or real separation or rejection.

BPD might mean someone has unstable intense relationships. One moment they may idealize someone, then the next they believe the person couldn't care less or is cruel.

People with BPD may find their values and goals rapidly changing.

One may lose contact with reality for as much as a few hours, and experience stress-related paranoia.

Risky and impulsive behaviors such as unsafe sex, reckless driving, gambling, binge eating, spending sprees, or drug abuse are common.

One with BPD may suddenly end a positive relationship or quit a good job. 

What is DBT therapy?

DBT can improve many BPD skills by teaching skills within four units: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance, and Emotion Regulation.

DBT is multi-faceted, and as indicated above Marsha Linehan, Ph.D formed it.

DBT was specially created for those who live with BPD. In fact, Linehan has experienced this condition herself, and wrote about it in Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir.

Plan to be in DBT for about one year.

The therapy is achievable and will teach you practical skills to use both in treatment and once you and a mental health professional have decided you no longer need treatment.

For many people with BPD, thinking is black and white. Black and white are two distinctly different colors, and that makes it appropriate for DBT to have the word "dialectical" in it.

Both acceptance and change are needed to improve BPD symptoms, which means "dialectical" also makes sense there.

When one practices both acceptance and change, they can improve their symptoms and create better balance in their life.

Get Matched to the Right Provider

Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.


Get Matched

Mindfulness & Interpersonal Effectiveness

The mindfulness unit in DBT therapy helps people be fully present in each moment. Mindfulness teaches people to observe, describe and participate in any experiences they have.

The experiences include emotions, sensations, thoughts, and things happening externally in their environment.

When one practices mindfulness, one needs to refrain from judging their experiences.

An example of using mindfulness would be if you are in an argument. You may find you are overwhelmed with emotions, then act out on the feelings.

Acting out would be done without considering the consequences. In essence, mindfulness helps people interpret, as well as regulate their emotions.

They can then step back and appropriately respond.

In the Interpersonal Effectiveness unit, people will learn to assert their needs successfully.

Interpersonal effectiveness skills will help you get your needs met through relationships while being respectful to the other parties as well as yourself.

When one deals with unstable emotions, like someone who might have BPD, interpersonal relationships may be challenging.

Many people with BPD have issues maintaining healthy relationships, and this unit will help you maintain–and maybe build in the first place–those healthy relationships.

Distress Tolerance & Emotion Regulation

Distress tolerance skills teach people about accepting and tolerating stress without worsening distress.

For example, one may self-harm to make things worse in the long run.

People may engage in excessive alcohol use, violence, and substance use to negatively cope with their stressors.

In the Distress Tolerance unit, people will learn to better cope with painful emotions, then respond in more adaptive ways.

Emotion Regulation skills give people ways to identify and deal with emotional reactions.

Emotion regulation deals with cutting down on negative emotions as much as possible to effectively respond and achieve healthy goals.

When one puts these skills in their toolbox, they will be able to interpret their emotions better than before.

They can also find ways of managing and expressing those emotions in healthy, non-destructive ways. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of ways that DBT therapy can help someone with BPD.

BPD need not be a painful mental illness to live with because help through DBT therapy is available.

Through DBT therapy, people with BPD can reduce their extreme negative emotions to better respond to unfavorable situations.

They can cut down on impulsive, unhealthy behaviors. They can better assert their needs in conversations with other people and will be able to live in each moment more often.

Whether officially diagnosed or not at the moment with BPD, help is available to receive the diagnosis, or perhaps another one that DBT therapy could be helpful for.

Resources 

×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
July 13th, 2024

overcomers counseling logo

Explore local counseling and psychiatry services to find the tailored support you require. Embark on a journey towards resilience and become an Overcomer with the right professional assistance by your side!

Contact Us

5585 Erindale Dr. Ste 204
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 mailing
(719) 345-2424 office
(719) 888-5022 text
(855) 719-2549 fax

Business Hours (Provider's hours may vary)

 Sunday   Closed
 Monday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Tuesday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Wednesday    8:00am - 5:00pm
 Thursday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Friday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Saturday  Closed