Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, DBT has since been used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including substance abuse, eating disorders, and depression.
DBT is a comprehensive treatment that is made up of several different components, including individual therapy, group skills training, phone coaching, and consultation meetings. One of the key components of DBT is the use of assumptions and agreements that guide the therapist and client in their work together.
Assumptions in DBT refer to the therapist and client`s beliefs about human beings and their capacity for change. These assumptions include the following:
1. People are doing the best they can: This assumption acknowledges that everyone is trying their best with the skills and resources they have available to them.
2. People want to improve: This assumption recognizes that individuals generally want to improve their lives and feel better.
3. People need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change: This assumption acknowledges that significant change requires effort, motivation, and dedication.
Agreements in DBT refer to the shared expectations between the therapist and the client about how the therapy will proceed. These agreements include the following:
1. Treatment goals: Both the therapist and the client agree on the specific goals of the therapy.
2. Attending sessions: The client agrees to attend therapy sessions regularly.
3. Completing homework assignments: The client agrees to complete any homework assigned by the therapist.
4. Being honest: The client agrees to be truthful and honest with the therapist about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
5. Paying attention to safety concerns: Both the therapist and the client agree to prioritize safety if the client has a history of self-harm or suicidal ideation.
DBT is an evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of BPD as well as other mental health conditions. By following the assumptions and agreements of DBT, therapists and clients can work together to achieve meaningful and lasting change.