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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a talk therapy technique that helps people learn skills to manage their emotions and have healthy, meaningful relationships with others.

While it was first developed for borderline personality disorder treatment, DBT can help treat mental illnesses and disorders including:

  • Binge eating
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Bulimia
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance misuse

Combining individual and group therapy, DBT is a thorough program that can help you or a loved one learn how to live with a mental illness. Individual therapy teaches skills that can be applied to daily life. Group therapy provides a place to practice the skills and methods learned in individual therapy while also sharing your experiences and providing support to other group members.

Dialectical behavior therapy for borderline personality disorder

First developed to treat borderline personality disorder, DBT was designed for those who experience extreme, frequent changes in their emotions.

People living with borderline personality disorder often find that their feelings and emotions are intense and difficult to manage. Through a four-module program, DBT helps people with mental illness understand and manage their emotions.

Dialectical behavior therapy’s 4 modules:

  • Mindfulness: At the core of DBT, mindfulness teaches people how to observe, describe and participate in situations.
  • Distress tolerance: Stemming from mindfulness skills, distress tolerance teaches people how to accept themselves in a current situation without judgment. People learn how to accept life as it is in the moment and how to apply survival strategies including self-soothing and looking at the pros and cons of a situation.
  • Emotional regulation: This module focuses on helping people understand feelings of anger, frustration, depression or anxiety and how to regulate those emotions.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: This module focuses on communication skills. Interpersonal effectiveness helps you learn how to ask for what you need, say “no” and cope with conflict. The goal is to help you get what you need from a relationship without damaging it or the other person’s self-respect.

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Psychiatry and behavioral health at Geisinger

The psychiatry and behavioral health professionals offer support and services that can help you overcome mental health conditions or addiction. We offer:

  • Coordinated care and treatment: By working with medical care teams and those with heart conditions or cancer, our team can spot conditions, such as depression, that can be easy to miss. We work alongside medical providers to connect you with the treatments you need most.
  • Support from an entire team: When you come to Geisinger, you’ll be supported by a team, including social workers and case managers, who work together throughout your care and are dedicated to helping your treatment stay on track.
  • Geisinger Health Plan member resources: Geisinger Health Plan members, log in to your health plan account at any time and access educational information, including behavioral health resources, to help you take charge of your health.
  • Telemedicine appointments: When in-person appointments aren't possible or necessary, telemedicine appointments will connect you with your behavioral health doctor virtually. Virtual appointments help you get the care you need, when you need it, in a way that's more convenient for you.
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