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Three Important Skills you could Develop from Dialectical Behavior Therapy

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Three Important Skills you could Develop from Dialectical Behavior Therapy


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a staple treatment method that is offered at most mental health and substance abuse treatment centers in the United States. This method of treatment is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and was originally created to treat individuals suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. However, DBT has also been proven to help individuals battling conditions such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, Bipolar Disorder, and addiction.

The overall goal of DBT is to help a patient better regulate their emotions and thinking patterns. “Skills training” is one of the key components of dialectical behavior therapy. If you or a loved one are considering enrolling in treatment for your illness, here are three important skills you could learn to develop via multiple sessions of dialectical behavior therapy.

Becoming Less Judgmental

As much as we would hate to admit it, we are all judgmental to an extent. It sometimes becomes human nature to size up and form an unhealthy opinion on someone or a particular situation. Passing negative judgments leads to painful emotions. A patient in therapy can acquire this skill by placing a greater focus on facts rather than judgments. When we become less judgmental, we also improve our ability to build and maintain interpersonal relationships with others.

Learning to Accept Reality (Radical Acceptance)

Learning to accept reality is also known as only worrying about what you can control. Clients with a history of trauma might focus on this outlook when reflecting on their past. Could you control or prevent what happened to you? If not, do your best to let it go and plan for a bright future. This notion, however, is much easier said than done.

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a term you’ll hear mentioned very often in mental health treatment programs. Dialectical behavior therapy was the first form of psychotherapy to use mindfulness as a key component in its structure. Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that places emphasis on the present moment rather than living in the past or future. Living in the moment can lead to clearer thoughts and greater awareness of our emotions. Mindfulness also brings awareness to your senses and can help improve your moods over the long run.

LifeSkills South Florida offers dialectical behavior therapy in both individual and group settings. To learn more about our DBT programs, please call our admissions office at 954-953-1742 or complete our contact form. Our admissions staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our treatment methods as well as whatever questions you may have about enrolling at LifeSkills South Florida.

DBT Team Campus[3170]

Lifeskills South Florida is proud to announce that four members of its staff have successfully completed a 10-day intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  Participants included Jonathan Closner, LMHC and Clinical Director, along with clinicians Dr. Michelle Quilter, PsyD, Kristin Gurdak, MA, and Lara Eisenberg, MA. The training was provided by The Linehan Institute-Behavioral Tech, LLC and hosted by Columbia University in New York City.  Behavioral Tech, LLC, was founded by Dr. Marsha Linehan, and trains mental health care providers and treatment teams who work with complex and severely disordered populations to use compassionate, scientifically valid treatments and to implement and evaluate these treatments in their practice setting.  Dr. Marsha Linehan developed what is currently known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

The training was divided into two parts.  The first half, week one, was offered in September 2016.  The team was given the task of completing extensive DBT homework which included the completion of all skills homework in the DBT manual.  Furthermore, the team was tasked with implementing DBT assessments that evaluated the efficacy of DBT treatment at Lifeskills.  Data was collected, analyzed, and presented in the second week of training in January 2017.  During the ten days of training, participants received didactic presentations and participated in interactive team discussions along with experiential activities that provided trainees the opportunity to apply the treatment.  The Lifeskills team received critical feedback from the trainers to assure proper understanding and application of the DBT treatment model.  

DBT Team Columbia Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills

The intensive DBT training will assist the Clinical Department in continuing to provide cutting edge Evidenced Based Models in the treatment of mental illness and addiction.  Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and it is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders (Linehan, 2017).

Lifeskills has intensively trained clinicians in the Admissions Department, Residential and IOP levels of care. Dr. Michelle Quilter has accepted an appointment as the DBT Team Leader.

If you’re someone that is struggling with an addiction or co-occurring mental health disorder, consider enrolling at Lifeskills South Florida. Lifeskills is one of the leading dual diagnosis treatment centers in the Fort Lauderdale area and offers treatment in both residential and outpatient settings. To learn more about the enrollment process, please contact us.


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