Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment program originally developed by Marsha Linehan as a treatment for highly suicidal women with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other difficult-to-treat mental disorders. DBT draws its principles from behavioral science (e.g., reinforcement, classical conditioning), Zen mindfulness practices (e.g., quieting the mind and focusing attention), and dialectical philosophy (e.g., finding the synthesis between two differing or opposing positions). The essence of DBT as a treatment is helping the client find the synthesis of and middle path between acceptance and change. This emphasis came out of the finding that focusing solely on behavioral change or on acceptance and validation of the client's pain led to poor outcomes. Clients in DBT require a balance of acceptance and validation of their painful experiences while also working ...