What can DBT treat?
Research shows that DBT can be helpful in tackling problems like:
It was originally developed for borderline personality disorder (BPD), so most of the evidence for it so far has been about treating people with this diagnosis. Some services may offer DBT for:
- children and adolescents
- drug and alcohol problems
- eating problems
- offending behaviour (committing crimes).
But regardless of your diagnosis or problems, DBT might not be right for you.
“After a few months I found that, although how I felt and a lot of my symptoms did not change, I was managing them all so much better. I could actually get through days without a crisis.”
DBT is more likely to work for you if:
- you’re committed to making positive changes in yourself
- you’re ready to work hard at therapy, and do homework assignments
- you’re ready to focus mostly on your present and future, rather than your past
- you feel able to do some sessions in a group with others, if necessary.
Some people like group work, but others find it harder. You might ideally prefer to work with a DBT therapist one-to-one. Talk to your doctor about what you would find most helpful to see what is available.
It’s important to remember that everyone experiences therapy differently.
“I was really nervous about the group aspect of DBT. When I started the group I wouldn’t speak or make eye contact, but everyone was supportive and by the end I was much more confident and even taught a skill session to the other group members.”