Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT, is the main therapy that has been proven to help people living with BPD – it was created by Marsha Linehan, who herself lives with BPD. DBT can help you in a number of ways. There are four key skills taught in DBT:

  • Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
  • Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
  • Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that you want to change

Dialectical literally means opposites. So DBT teaches you how to reframe a negative or unhelpful emotion, and gives you the skills to effectively cope with these difficult situations day-to-day. One of the key things DBT does is validate you – helping you accept yourself as you are, without feeling misunderstood or that your feelings aren’t valid. As people with BPD often have extreme emotional sensitivity, working together on validation helps keep a careful balance between acceptance and change. You can find out more about DBT here.