This paper will review the article: “Mechanisms of change in dialectical behavior therapy: Theoretical and empirical observations.” This paper will summarize the theoretical and empirical observations that indicate why DBT is successful in treating clients with borderline personality disorder. This paper will discuss the specific aspects of how dialectical behavior therapy is used. Dialectical behavior therapy is the recommended treatment for clients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder based on several evidence based successful studies. These studies found that dialectical behavior therapy has reduced client depression and harmful behavior by combining acceptance and change techniques.
There therapist looks to transform a clients behavior by supplying the client with a hypothesis for their problem. Clients with dialectical behavior therapy in a sense learned poor coping techniques in response to not knowing how to regulate their emotions. It is a goal of dialectical behavior therapy to reduce the client’s emotional dysregulation by helping the client learn how to control their emotions and changing their behaviors (Lynch & Chapman, 2006). The philosophy behind dialectical behavior therapy is that you must look at the whole client system to figure out the client’s reality because each part of the client’s system is interrelated. Each aspect of a client’s life can affect their emotions and behaviors.
Dialectical behavior therapy is based on a biosocial theory that looks at the client’s childhood environment that could have led them to be emotional susceptible as a child causing emotional dysregulation as an adult. A client’s inner personality as a child of being emotionally sensitive was refuted by adults in their life through punishing the child in forms of abusive behaviors. Growing up these clients’ are in a feedback loop cause there emotional dysregulation to continue (Lynch & Chapman, 2006). It is important for the therapist to create an environment where the client’s feelings are validated. Therapists help clients be mindful of their current emotions without trying to change it. Clients learn to be mindful of their beliefs, their logic and what emotions are real to them in that present moment. During treatment the therapist helps the client learn to communicate what is truly experienced by the client and for the client to be conscious aware of what to do. The client learns that they have control over how they process the situation.
The client then applies rational thoughts and emotional regulation to the situation to achieve a sense of harmony. The client then learns not to resort to previous feedback loops. The client is encouraged to experience and accept their emotion fully without any attempts to regulate it. Clients therefore learn to stop the pattern of trying to control their affect (Lynch & Chapman, 2006). Being mindful can stop feedback loops and change how a client responds to an emotional situation. Therapists help clients identify and challenge their belief systems that focuses on a rule where people must behave a certain way when faced with certain event. Clients are taught in dialectic behavioral therapy to focus their attention on what is happening instead of how the situation makes them feel. It is important for therapist to validate clients’ feelings and efforts towards change. Validation allows client to increase their self-confidence in their ability to self-regulate.
This unconditional positive regard by the therapist helps clients learn how their history has affected their current behavior through emotional dysregulation and why dysfunctional behavior patterns are preventing them from having healthy relationships. The therapist then trains the client in healthy relationship skills and reinforces the clients’ use of the new skills (Lynch & Chapman, 2006). This paper reviewed the article: “Mechanisms of change in dialectical behavior therapy: Theoretical and empirical observations.” This paper summarized the theoretical and empirical observations that indicate why DBT is successful in treating clients with borderline personality disorder. This paper discussed the specific aspects of how dialectical behavior therapy is used.
Lynch, T., Chapman, A. et al (2006). Mechanisms of change in dialectical behavior therapy: Theoretical and empirical observations. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(4), 459-480. http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=19901233&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live&scope=site
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