Dialectical Behavior Therapy – An Introduction

Dialectical behavior therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy


Alyssa Mandel serves as CEO and director of the Mandel Center of Arizona, where she develops individualized psychotherapeutic treatment plans to meet each client’s unique needs. Alyssa Mandel draws on elements of various methodologies, including dialectical behavior therapy.

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, uses mindfulness techniques and related skill sets to help clients cope with intense emotions. The therapy arose as an intervention for borderline personality disorder, which often causes extreme and quick emotional changes. Because individuals with this disorder have not yet developed the skills necessary to respond adaptively to such changes, they are often inclined to react in charged and possibly inappropriate ways.

DBT helps individuals both with and without borderline personality disorder to de-escalate heightened emotions and respond with more adaptive pro-social behaviors. Using individual therapy, group training, and phone coaching, each client learns and practices actionable skills that strengthen his or her social-emotional competence. By the time a client has completed the course of therapy, his or her skills span the categories of mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

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