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What Are the Stages of DBT?

a client listens after asking a therapist what are the stages of dbt?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a transformative approach to managing emotions, reducing self-destructive behaviors, and improving relationships. It plays a vital role in addiction treatment and mental health therapy, offering individuals a structured path toward healing and recovery through various stages. But what are the stages of DBT?

More About DBT

The therapy was originally developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder. Over time, it has proven to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

One unique factor about DBT is the progression of stages that individuals go through during treatment, each building upon the previous one to achieve long-term success.

What Are the Stages of DBT?

DBT focuses on three main stages of feeling and action: feeling miserable and out of control, quiet desperation, and learning to live. Some individuals benefit from an additional stage where they seek a life meaning.

Pre-Treatment Stage: Establishing Commitment

Before embarking on the journey of DBT, it is crucial to establish commitment. This pre-treatment stage sets the foundation for successful therapy. It involves building a therapeutic alliance between the individual and therapist, fostering trust, and setting clear expectations. The goal is to ensure that the individual is prepared and committed to engage in the process of change.

Feeling Miserable and Out of Control

The first stage of DBT focuses on stabilizing the individual and reducing self-destructive behaviors. This includes addressing any life-threatening behaviors, increasing awareness of emotions, and developing skills to regulate emotions. The therapist also helps the individual build a more structured and balanced life.

Quiet Desperation

The second stage of DBT focuses on addressing trauma, improving relationships, and building a sense of self-worth. This involves developing skills to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and cope with distressing emotions. The individual learns to let go of old patterns and build healthier habits that lead to true emotional experiencing.

Learning to Live

The third stage of DBT focuses on helping the individual create a life worth living. It involves exploring one’s values, setting goals, and working towards fulfilling them. The individual learns to integrate all the skills acquired in previous stages into their daily life, leading to a sense of normal emotional regulation.

Seek Meaning

For some individuals, there is an additional stage where they seek a deeper understanding of the meaning of life. This may involve spiritual or existential exploration and can be seen as an ongoing process throughout all stages of DBT.

Who and what are these stages of DBT useful for, though? The therapy is not the best fit for everyone, and it is essential to seek professional guidance and support in determining if DBT is the right approach for you or a loved one.

Is DBT Right for You?

You might be a good candidate for dialectical behavior therapy if:

  • You struggle with managing your emotions and engaging in self-destructive behaviors
  • You have a history of trauma or difficulty maintaining stable relationships
  • You are looking for a structured, evidence-based approach to therapy that emphasizes personal growth and healing.

BlueCrest Health Group offers DBT at our New Jersey treatment centers—Quicksilver Counseling Center and BlueCrest Recovery Center.

Call BlueCrest Health Group for DBT in New Jersey

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse, the compassionate team at BlueCrest Health Group can help. Our DBT program is tailored to meet the individual needs of each client, and our team of experts will guide you through the stages of therapy to achieve lasting change. Contact us online or at 888.340.2214 today to learn more about our services and schedule a consultation. Remember, there is always hope for healing and recovery with BlueCrest Health Group by your side.