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DBT Therapy in Fort Collins

Origins of DBT Therapy

DBT (Dialectical Behavioral therapy) emerged as an innovative response to the limitations of traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating patients with emotional dysregulation. Dr. Linehan, the founder of DBT, sought to integrate strategies to develop acceptance along with strategies to create needed change, thereby creating a dialectical process that addresses the tension between accepting oneself and striving for change.

Integration with other Modalities

DBT is often used alongside other therapeutic approaches to provide comprehensive care. For instance, it can be integrated with trauma-focused therapies for individuals with PTSD, combined with IFS or Depth for a focus on authenticity and relationship to self, or combined with CBT for anxiety disorders. The flexibility and adaptability of DBT make it a valuable component of holistic mental health treatment plans.

Core Principals

  1. Dialectics: This principle involves the synthesis of opposites. This often manifests as balancing acceptance of feelings while still striving for a change in thoughts and behaviors.

  2. Mindfulness: Rooted in Buddhist practices, mindfulness in DBT involves learning to be present in the moment and observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment. This helps in reducing emotional reactivity and impulsive behaviors.

  3. Emotional Regulation: This involves learning strategies to understand, name, and manage intense emotions. This includes identifying emotions, reducing vulnerability to negative emotions, and increasing positive emotional experiences.

  4. Distress Tolerance: DBT emphasizes building skills to tolerate and survive crises without resorting to self-destructive behaviors. This may include learning to accept reality as it is, even in moments of intense pain.

  5. Interpersonal Effectiveness: This includes learning skills to assert needs, manage conflict, and build healthy relationships. This includes strategies for asking for what we want, saying no, and coping with interpersonal conflict.

DBT at Four Pillars​

At Four Pillars our therapists have all had an introduction to DBT techniques. We often use DBT techniques, most especially mindfulness and "middle path" (or dialectics), in conjunction with other theoretical orientations and a client-centered presence  

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