What Is DBT? The Treatment Which Is Being Used by Some of the World’s Biggest Celebrities.
How Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Helped Selena Gomez.
Selena Gomez was having a pretty horrible time when the high stakes world of being an international celebrity, paired with the trials and tribulations of growing up got to her and left her in a bad places. She was struggling with anxiety, depression, low-self esteem and was relying on her Instagram following as a source of relief, developing an addiction to instagram. Selena Gomez is the most followed person on Instagram with 133million followers. After her issues started to affect both her personal and professional life, she decided to seek help. She went to ‘The Meadows’ rehab facility and joined a course of DBT to help with her depression and anxiety.
DBT or Dialectical Behaviour Therapy promotes both acceptance and change in a patient, which seems contradictory, the reference in its name ‘dialectal’ which means the integration of opposites.
DBT was developed in the 1980s by Marsha Linehan, who is a psychology professor at the University of Washington. It was originally designed to treat suicidal behaviours, however it has been expanded to treat borderline personality disorder. Linehan herself struggled with mental health and so dedicated her life to helping herself and others with her findings.
“I suppose it’s true that I developed a therapy that provides the things I needed for so many years and never got,” she said in an interview with The New York Times.
Acceptance Is the First Step
One of the most important concepts of DBT is the idea of radical acceptance – letting go of your idea of how things SHOULD be and accepting how there are.
“Suppressing what you want is not the way to go. You have to radically accept that you want something you don’t have and it’s not a catastrophe,” Linehan said in a video explaining her philosophy. “Reality is what it is.”
The real contradiction that leads itself to the name is that you can’t create change without first accepting the reality. It can be difficult to come to terms with reality but once you do you create a space in which action that makes change possible. “This kind of thinking will transform everyone, but has to be a regular practise.”
That means that weaving DBT mindfulness into your life will become an everyday norm. It’s not a ‘get well quick’ strategy, although once you’ve begun, the changes do have surprisingly swift effects.
Outline of the Therapy
Patients who undergo DBT receive both one-on-one and a group therapy. The goal for this is for them to ‘get out of hell’ and ‘live a life worth living’ these two things can mean very different things to different people
Things people can gain from the programme include
- How to stay present in the moment.
- How to tolerate mental pain in difficult situations.
- How to ask for what they want.
- How to change emotions they want to change, this could be the most critical part of the entire treatment.
Groups usually meet weekly for a period of 2.5 hours, with the curriculum lasting 24 weeks, this can vary though, and even last an entire one-year programme.
Individual therapy sessions also take place once a week during this time. Telephone coaching is also available for patients to get help in between their therapy sessions.
Studies show that DBT can be effective at producing significant and long-lasting improvement for people experiencing a mental illness.
“As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. “
– Selena Gomez on Instagram.
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Mood lol (I was looking at myself in the mirror -like an idiot!) Update: taking a social media break. Again. As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.