“Dialectical Behavioral Therapy” (DBT) is a type of therapy developed by Marsha Linehan which helps people manage and tolerate distressing situations and feelings. DBT is similar to “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” (CBT) in that it challenges ways of thinking that end up making you feel worse. It is different from CBT in that it incorporates ways of thinking, behaving, and communicating that help specifically tolerate and manage extremely intense emotions.
I happen to love DBT because two of the common threads through the therapy, awareness and acceptance, are grounded in Buddhist practices that just make sense. I mean, there are some tough realities that we just have to accept (Buddha’s first noble truth is that pain is an inevitable part of life; his second noble truth includes the notion that we suffer when we want things to be different than what they are…), and yes, awareness staves off a lot of stuff that makes life harder.
The three main aspects of DBT are mindfulness, distress tolerance, and interpersonal skills. I will continue to write about all three (including a guest post on “radical acceptance” on one of my favorite sites coming soon that I am super excited about.)
For now, since my kids and I are on a drawing kick, here is a cartoon about the concept and application of “mindfulness.”
I do these handy dandy drawings (more with Milton and the animal kid to come) to entertain you and also so that I can be engaged in my kids’ creation of ancient Egyptian mummies instead of sitting on my computer…. My 4-year old tells me “Mommy, you aren’t an artist, but at least you did your best” (I attribute his reality-based assessments to his being raised on a healthy dose of CBT 🙂 Also, he likes kneeling on the table while he engages in his craft. Who am I to judge his process?
Be sure to check out my Facebook page, And if you have any questions for me to answer about parenting, relationships, or psychology in general, shoot me a message– If you’re lucky, I might give you a cartoon picture or a marker flow-chart since I’m blunt and entertaining like that.