What is DBT?
Transforming destructive behaviors into positive outcomes.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an effective combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies. The goal of DBT is to transform negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviors into positive outcomes. The effectiveness of DBT has been shown to help people diagnosed with an eating disorder regulate their emotions, build self-management skills, reduce anxiety and stress, and control destructive eating behaviors. DBT is a researched-based way to establish coping mechanisms to implement in environments that may elicit old, destructive patterns of eating. DBT is used to create a structured process or environment for individuals to have the opportunity to practice regulating their emotions and managing their behaviors.
DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan in the 1970s. She developed DBT through her work with two mental health populations: people with chronic thoughts of suicide and people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Linehan was intrigued by the building reputation of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
What is Radical Acceptance?
The practice of radical acceptance, first developed by Marcia Linehan, is used in Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help people let go of what isn’t possible. It isn’t a new idea.
- Radical means all the way, complete and total.
- It is accepting in your mind, your heart, and your body.
- It’s when you stop fighting reality, stop throwing tantrums because reality is not the way you want it, and let go of bitterness.
What has to be Accepted?
- Reality is as it is (the facts about the past and the present are the facts, even if you don’t like them).
- There are limitations on the future for everyone (but only realistic limitations need to be accepted).
- Everything has a cause (including events and situations that cause you pain and suffering).
Life can be worth living even with painful events in it.
Why Accept Reality?
- Rejecting reality does not change reality.
- Changing reality requires first accepting reality.
- Pain can’t be avoided; it is nature’s way of signaling that something is wrong.
- Rejecting reality turns pain into suffering.
- Refusing to accept reality can keep you stuck in unhappiness, bitterness, anger, sadness, shame, or other painful emotions.
- Acceptance may lead to sadness, but deep calmness usually follows.
- The path out of hell is through misery. By refusing to accept the misery that is part of climbing out of hell, you fall back into hell.