Are you tired of being called “moody,” “overly-sensitive,” or “needy”? Do you feel like no one really ‘gets’ you? Then complete the questionnaire below and see if DBT would helpful for you.
- Do you have frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment?
- Do you have a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation?
- Do you have an identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self?
- Are you impulsive in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g. spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)?
- Do you have recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior?
- Do you have affective (mood) instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g. intense episodic dysphoria (being without any pleasure), irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)?
- Do you have chronic feelings of emptiness?
- Do you have inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g. frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)?
- Do you have transient, stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative (feeling out of touch) symptoms?
If you answered “yes” to five or more of the above questions, you would benefit from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT is a therapy that was originally developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. My definition of “borderline” is a person who stopped maturing because of something they perceived happened during their formative years. DBT consists of a group of coping skills, that when used effectively, help patients gain “a life worth living” and quit using their old coping skills such as self mutilation, excessive spending, unstable and intense relationships, drug use, etc. Although medications can help to control some of the impulsivity that they clients may feel; learning mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, how to better regulate their emotions, and handle crisis situations, is what leads to their long term recovery and possible reduction in medication and therapeutic treatment. DBT’s effectiveness is now being researched for chemical dependency, marital therapy, and pain control. I am “intensively” trained in DBT through Behavior Tech.(Marcia Linehan). For more information on DBT, visit BehavioralTech.org.