Plain Language Summary: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy that helps people change their behavior to manage stress, emotions, or relationships better. DBT is evidence-based, meaning that research has been done to see if it works, and there are many supportive results.

During DBT, individuals learn to accept difficult experiences and make helpful changes to their behavior. To make these changes, clients learn specific strategies to regulate and accept emotions and understand and change thoughts. Examples of these strategies include core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation.

When you begin therapy of any kind, you can expect to first spend time sharing about you. This may include your background, your strengths, and what you want to accomplish. This helps the therapist make a unique plan to help you. Your therapy plan may include activities during and outside of therapy sessions.

As you participate in therapy, it is important that you feel you can trust your therapist. You may ask questions to get to know them. You can also ask about their experience working with someone with developmental disabilities and if they can provide accommodations. You can bring a trusted friend or family member with you too, if you want.

To learn more, read the MHDD fact sheet on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

green and blue logo for mental health and developmental disability natinoal training center

Join Our Email List

Enter your name and email to receive our newsletters quarterly!