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What is DBT informed therapy and who can it help?

by Sarah, Mental Health Nurse, DBT informed therapist, auricular (ear) acupuncturist

& Associate with GTPS

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a psychological intervention developed in the 1990’s and the evidence base and popularity for DBT as a treatment of choice has grown and it is now widely used in mental health care. Classic DBT therapy is an intensive and structured treatment featuring individual sessions, telephone coaching and a skills training group, DBT informed therapy is adapted from standard DBT to use the core concepts of DBT to help people with a wide range of needs.

DBT skills and strategies are based on the principles of balancing change and acceptance. All DBT informed work is collaborative, and therapists work alongside their clients. DBT requires commitment to change and working towards agreed goals.

DBT informed therapy offered by Good Thinking Psychological Services (GTPS) are one-to-one therapy sessions to support individuals in working towards recovery. Treatment focuses on increasing client’s skill base in one or more of the four main areas:

· Emotional Regulation - focusing on understanding and identifying emotions, developing knowledge of the function of emotions and triggers for emotional changes, working on strategies to reduce emotional vulnerability and emotional suffering for more regulated moods.

· Mindfulness - an integral part of DBT informed therapy to help us be more present in experiencing our life and all parts of it, mindfulness works towards reducing avoidance, increasing happiness, and increasing control of our mind and our thoughts, rather than our mind controlling us.

· Distress Tolerance - works on improving our ability to manage ‘crisis’ situations and periods of intense emotions, looks at skills to help manage unhelpful urges or behaviours and develop more helpful ways of coping. There are also sessions working towards accepting and improving our current reality or situation.

· Interpersonal Effectiveness - these sessions focus on our relationship with ourselves and others, how to improve and maintain helpful relationships, build self-esteem and self-respect and strategies to help identify and achieve our objectives in interactions.

Clients may require help in one or more of these areas and this would be discussed during assessment period to develop a personalised plan of care. This type of therapy can provide a successful standalone treatment for clients or can be used as stabilisation work prior to specific trauma therapy.

How can DBT informed therapy help you?

- Helping you to feel more stable within your moods and emotions

- Feeling more in control of your thoughts and actions

- Improving your relationships with others

- Understanding patterns of behaviour and forming new, more helpful ones

- Managing periods of crisis and high distress

- Learning how to achieve your objectives and goals during interactions

- Being more ‘present’ within your current life

- Overcoming emotional avoidance

- Developing new ways of coping via new skills and strategies

- Improving self esteem

- Emotional resilience building

- Developing awareness of triggers and using urge management strategies

Sarah is an associate for Good Thinking Psychological Services and has been practicing DBT informed work for 4 ½ years. She can offer effective, Zoom-hosted sessions. For more information or to book use the contact form or email:


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