Healing Through Forgiveness

Healing Through Forgiveness

DBT Counseling For Patients With Borderline Personality Disorder

by Kurt Garrett

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that involves mood swings, negative emotions, behavioral problems such as self-injury and impulsiveness, and intense, unstable relationships. People with BPD are known to have reduced activity in some areas of the brain that help control logical thought, and at the same time, hyperactivity in areas of the brain associated with emotions. BPD patients sometimes say their problem is that they feel too much. When a girlfriend suddenly breaks up with someone with BPD, the BPD patient may react as strongly as someone whose wife has just died. Because their emotions are so intense and often negative, Borderlines encounter major problems leading normal lives.

What Is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Unlike many mental illnesses, BPD usually cannot be resolved with medication. There are some medicines, such as mood stabilizers, that may help, but that may not be enough. For a while, psychiatrists thought there was no way for mental health services to treat BPD. In the late 1980s, however, a psychologist named Marsha Linehan developed a new treatment called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Since then, DBT has helped thousands of people, and is considered the best treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. Those with BPD are best off if they attend both group DBT therapy and individual DBT counseling. Groups can be hard to find, but individual DBT counseling should be the priority. 

How Does DBT Counseling Help?

DBT counseling can help a Borderline patient learn how to cope and live a more normal life. There are four main aspects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy that help people with BPD.

  1. Mindfulness is learning to be aware of oneself and the world in the present moment. It helps people understand themselves and can help ground a person in reality when they are struggling with intense emotions and irrational thoughts. Mindfulness includes practices such as meditation. Meditations can focus on the breath, the physical body, thoughts, and more.  
  2. Distress tolerance teaches a person how to get through a time of intense negative emotions or tough situations that can't simply be changed. Various coping skills are taught. One example of distress tolerance self-soothing with the five senses. You do something that pleases your senses, such as tasting chocolate, smelling a scented candle, holding a material whose texture you like, or looking at soothing pictures or cards. 
  3. Interpersonal effectiveness is learning how to handle relationships with family, friends, loved ones, and even people you don't know well. For example, people with BPD must learn not to depend on people too much for emotional security, how to ask for what they need appropriately, how to validate someone else's words to show they are listening, and how to assert themselves when appropriate. 
  4. Emotion regulation is learning how to control and change your emotions. For some people, it is the hardest part of DBT. While distress tolerance teaches you to handle emotions that you feel you can't change, emotional regulation challenges you to change them. 

To learn more, contact a company like NeuroHealth Arlington Heights


About Me

Healing Through Forgiveness

A few years ago, I had a terrible disagreement with my mother-in-law. For several months, I didn’t speak to my husband’s mom. The bitterness I felt toward this woman was overwhelming. Thankfully, I decided to forgive her for the things she said and did to me. After I made this choice, I felt relieved and happier. Are you struggling to forgive someone? Consider making an appointment with a reputable counselor near you. This professional can help you sort through your feelings of resentment towards the other person. On this blog, I hope you will discover the numerous emotional issues counselors help clients successfully deal with.