Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Description of the Strategy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive, multimodal treatment that blends psychotherapy change strategies drawn from cognitive-behavioral approaches with acceptance-based strategies drawn from Eastern meditative (primarily Zen) and Western contemplative practices. These apparently opposing notions, change and acceptance, are integrated within a dialectical framework that guides treatment from case conceptualization to execution of treatment strategies. During the 1980s, Marsha Linehan developed DBT at the University of Washington after finding that standard behavior therapies did not seem effective with the chronically suicidal women she was treating. Linehan, therefore, incorporated a series of acceptance strategies to the treatment together with a set of dialectical strategies aimed at synthesizing the two polarities. DBT later evolved into a treatment for parasuicidal behavior ...

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