Leone Centre Glossary

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a key part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), combining traditional CBT techniques with principles of mindfulness, acceptance, and emotional regulation. This approach addresses complex mental health issues and enhances overall well-being.

Challenges Tackled

DBT is particularly helpful for individuals with emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and relationship difficulties. It also supports those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other complex psychological conditions.

Method Overview

DBT within CBT focuses on four key components: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. These elements work together to help individuals manage their emotions, handle stress, and improve relationships.

  1. Mindfulness: Enhances awareness and acceptance of the present moment.
  2. Distress Tolerance: Develops skills to cope with distressing situations.
  3. Emotion Regulation: Helps in understanding and managing intense emotions.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Improves communication and relationship skills.

Benefits of DBT

  1. Addresses complex emotional and behavioural issues.
  2. Promotes mental and emotional stability.
  3. Enhances overall quality of life.

About DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan. It integrates cognitive-behavioural techniques with concepts of mindfulness and acceptance.

How It Helps

DBT is beneficial for managing a range of psychological conditions, including emotional instability, self-destructive behaviours, and strained interpersonal relationships. By fostering skills in mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness, DBT helps individuals achieve greater emotional balance and resilience.

How It Works

DBT works through structured sessions that involve individual therapy, group skills training, and coaching. Each element targets specific areas of emotional and behavioural regulation.


What is DBT?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy that focuses on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
How does DBT differ from CBT?
While CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns, DBT incorporates mindfulness and acceptance strategies, alongside traditional cognitive and behavioural techniques, to address complex emotional and behavioural issues.
Who can benefit from DBT?
DBT is particularly effective for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and those facing difficulties in relationships.


  1. Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. Guilford Press.
  2. Rizvi, S. L., Steffel, L. M., & Carson-Wong, A. (2013). An Overview of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Professional Psychologists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 44(2), 73-80.
  3. Kliem, S., Kröger, C., & Kosfelder, J. (2010). Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: A Meta-Analysis Using Mixed-Effects Modeling. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(6), 936-951.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision