Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP as a treatment for patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who experience chronically suicidal thoughts. The goal was to help sufferers realize that life is worth living. Since then studies have shown that DBT is an effective treatment for a number of other disorders, including addiction and dependence, self-harm, eating disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and depression.
The term “dialectical” means a synthesis or integration of opposites. The therapist must walk a fine line during treatment, accepting patients as they are while also encouraging change in order to help them reach their goals.