. As with many of the treatment methods practiced in our programs, people could benefit from learning some of the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills like mindfulness.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy was originally produced by Marsha Linehan to help those with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) learn the necessary skills to succeed outside of treatment.
It was developed to help teach those with Borderline Personality Disorder how to experience life realizing that they had to pay more attention to certain details because of their disorder.
This therapy has also benefited many other types of mental health conditions including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction, substance abuse and other personality disorders.
These skills are very beneficial for many people with a variety of backgrounds.
These skills are quite practical in daily life. Understanding these skills can help improve relationships, communication and may even give people more confidence.
Introduction to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
New Roads Behavioral Health utilizes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in their Utah treatment programs.
We’ve found this evidenced based therapy to be very effective in treating a variety of disorders.
The therapy itself was developed in 1970 by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington.
This therapy specifically focuses on changing patterns of behavior that are unhealthy. Many of the skills teach self-care and help break patterns of self-harm. The therapy was developed to help treat patients that had struggled with suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and poor self-image.
DBT is a modified form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that also borrows many concepts from the Buddhist meditation practice.
This therapy not only helps with a spectrum of mood disorders, but it can also help those with by brain injuries.
There have been a plethora of great studies published just this year on the benefits of meditation.
Meditation is great for your health!
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills are taught in the course of therapy. It helps to educate those in the program to handle situations efficiently.
Situations that normally would have caused stress or conflict in their past.
These skills teach the practical application of many of the principals taught in therapy.
For example; relationships may be difficult to maintain because of a decrease in patience or underlying personal troubles.
The skills taught in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy teach the person how to think themselves through these traps in their behaviors.
The purpose is that they can solve the problems they find themselves in time and again.
Mindfulness is one of the skills in Dialectical Behavioral therapy that focuses on bringing things into perspective.
Envision the mental state of those in therapy. Try to understand just how difficult mindfulness can be to some one who is very overwhelmed and emotional. This can be a hard skill to develop. Mindfulness means that you are not judgemental of your surroundings.
You observe your environment.
You participate in your surroundings.
If you find your mind wondering, it is important to make a conscious effort to bring your focus back to the present.
According to Van Dijk, mindfulness means “living your life more in the present moment. Instead of allowing yourself to be hijacked by the past and the future.”
By practicing mindfulness, we become aware of our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. We’re able to pause, check in, identify our emotions and consciously make healthy decisions.
Improving Health With Meditation
Another aspect of mindfulness is meditation. Learning to bring focus can also calm our minds, with meditation.
Recent studies suggest meditation can not only calm our minds but also heal our bodies.
Meditation can relieve inflammation, regulate our systems and bring balance within ourselves to renew our entire body.
“We’ve now seen that mindfulness meditation training can reduce inflammatory biomarkers in several initial studies, and this new work sheds light into what mindfulness training is doing to the brain to produce these inflammatory health benefits,” said David Creswell, lead author and associate professor of psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Researchers note that when we meditate for as little as 20 minutes a day, there are multiple physiologic changes that benefit our health from head-to-toe. In fact, The National Centers for Complimentary and Integrative Health says that regular meditation can physically change the brain and improve a host health problems.
There is no wrong way to meditate. Sure, there are a great many resources that tell you how to mediate.
They tell you what to do, how to do it and even where you should be.
The truth is, none of that really matters. What matters is your intention.
Learning how to be intent in your space to bring about a small amount of solace.
For those that haven’t practiced meditation, there are a lot of great resources and guided meditations. It is important with any subject to do your research to find the best fit for you.
Here are some to start with:
- Free Guided Mindfulness Meditations from UCLA
- Weekly Meditation Podcast with Hammer Museum UCLA
- Meditation for Beginners
- How to choose a type of mindfulness meditation
Reach Out And Find Help
Everyone can benefit from mindfulness, meditation and learning some new skills to help cope with life’s challenges.
Gaining a little knowledge and perspective never hurt anyone.
It is important to remember that we all have our struggles. Some may outwardly show them, while others hide them well.
There are no awards in life for struggling in silence and suffering alone. Reach out and find help. There are so many people in this world that care!
There are many benefits from learning the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills.
They can help you improve relationships, gain more confidence, or change the way you feel about yourself.
Becoming more mindful can increase your awareness.
Don’t miss another opportunity because you weren’t paying attention to those around you!
For those with a loved one in the recovery process, practicing some of these skills can better prepare you for when they complete the program.
Invest in your relationships by improving your skills.