DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It is used in treating BPD, Borderline Personality Disorders. The acronyms can get confusing, especially when they so closely resemble each other and are related: treatment and illness. Patients who have BPD are often misdiagnosed due to the vagaries of the symptoms, but it is a very real illnesses that needs medical attention. DBT treats the illness using cognitive reasoning skills based on the theory that explains BPD as emotional disengagement.
Symptoms of BPD
• Splitting: Patients with borderline personality disorders often see the world as an all or nothing proposition. They have a problem with opposing viewpoints, and gray areas are out of the question for them.
• Lack of Self Esteem: More than a lack of appreciation for one’s self, a person with BPD simply never develops an identity that they recognize as theirs. They do not trust their own responses to life, or opinions. This is a problem because instead of reasoning out reactions to problems and believing in their opinions, patients with BPD tend to lash out in a reactive manner to any problem in life.
• Alienation: Patients with BPD feel separated from the rest of humanity. They don’t feel they belong, and they don’t feel they deserve to belong to the rest of the human race.
How DBT Can Help
Dialectical Behavior Therapy gives a patient a more balanced outlook on life. It helps them develop an ability to see how things connect, and sometimes blend in a more subtle manner than simply good vs. bad. DBT shows the patient the opposite truths in life that allow for divergence of opinions.
Therapists using DBT help patients reason out problems and think things through. They teach them to trust their reasoning skills and learn to accept who they are and how they feel about each situation as it occurs.
Using DBT, therapists give patients hope and help them restore their connection to the people around them. It erases the lifetime of shame that comes with feeling different, or blame for actions they haven’t been able to control. Most importantly, DBT allows patients to feel like they are in control of their illness and can manage it through treatment.