Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: An Effective Approach?

A relatively recent paper entitled: ‘A randomized, controlled, pilot study of dialectical behavior therapy skills in a psychoeducational group for individuals with bipolar disorder’ has examined the efficacy of DBT as a means of reducing the myriad negative symptoms of this serious mood disorder.  According to the study authors – S Van Dijk S, J Jeffrey and MR Katz – writing in the Journal of Affective Disorders, DBT  can reduce depressive symptoms, improve affective control and improve mindfulness self-efficacy in individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Commenting on the results, Debra Meehl, a DBT practitioner writing in The Digital Journal said:

‘No one likes to “feel” out of control.  DBT mindfulness is the key to learning the “what” and the “how” skills to taking control of your own mind.  Learning that you do not have to believe every thought you think, is the first step to emotional regulation and reducing your distraught feelings.   Learning then, the skills to radical acceptance and “letting go” are the set of skills used to learn distress tolerance which increase your threshold of tolerance to feeling upset. When you increase your threshold to tolerate being emotional you can then make better choices in any situation’. 

There are many people who can attest to the efficacy of DBT following their own personal experiences. That said, their is clearly a need for more detailed scientific investigations, like the one above, to fully understand and optimise the application of this form of therapy in people living with this specific condition.

You can read Debra Meehl’s article here: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1859645#ixzz2zMXQLDYB

You can read the abstract of Van Dijk et al’s paper here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22858264

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