Six Main Points of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a widely recognized therapeutic approach used by professionals around the globe to address various mental health challenges. At 12 South Recovery, we understand the complexities of mental health and strive to employ effective treatments like DBT to make a genuine difference in our patients’ lives. Today, we’ll delve into the six main points of DBT to offer you a clearer understanding of its potency.

1. Core Mindfulness

  • Learning to be present: Being truly in the moment is a fundamental DBT skill. Core Mindfulness teaches you to focus on the present, reducing the influence of painful past events or anxiety about the future.
  • Objective vs. emotional thinking: This practice encourages the balance between fact-based thoughts and emotional reactions, ensuring you respond to situations more rationally.
  • Practicing non-judgment: Here, the emphasis is on viewing situations and emotions without labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’

2. Distress Tolerance

  • Facing pain with acceptance: Life can be full of challenging moments. Distress Tolerance helps you face those moments without turning to harmful behaviors or substance abuse.
  • Distraction techniques: These are tools like self-soothing and improving the moment to prevent immediate reactions to stress.
  • Building resilience: This involves accepting reality as it is, recognizing that pain is part of life, but it doesn’t have to control you.

3. Emotion Regulation

  • Identifying and labeling emotions: By understanding your feelings, you can address them more effectively.
  • Reducing vulnerability: This involves avoiding situations that might trigger harmful behaviors or negative emotions.
  • Opposite action: This skill teaches you to act contrary to a negative emotion to reduce its impact.

4. Interpersonal Effectiveness

  • Assertiveness training: Learn how to express yourself and ask for what you need without infringing on others.
  • Building relationships: This involves techniques to build and maintain positive relationships in your life.
  • Balancing priorities: Finding the right balance between personal desires and the demands of others.

5. Walking the Middle Path

  • Avoiding extremes: Rather than seeing things in black and white, this skill emphasizes recognizing and appreciating the grey areas of life.
  • Validation: This means accepting your feelings and thoughts as valid, even if you don’t agree with them.

6. Validation and Behavioral Change

  • Self-validation: Recognizing and accepting your own feelings and experiences.
  • Encouraging change: While validation is crucial, this element emphasizes the importance of pushing for positive changes in behavior.

Call 12 South Recovery Today!

DBT isn’t just a collection of theories – it’s a lifeline for many who struggle with emotional regulation, suicidal thoughts, borderline personality disorder, and more. If you or someone you love is grappling with these issues, 12 South Recovery in Lake Forest, CA, offers expert DBT interventions. Ready to embark on a transformative journey with DBT? Reach out to us today to discover how we can guide you towards a brighter, healthier future.


DBT aims to help individuals build skills to manage emotions, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and improve relationships.

While DBT is primarily designed for individuals with borderline personality disorder, its techniques can benefit many facing various emotional challenges.

The duration varies, but a standard DBT program may last about 6 months to a year with weekly therapy sessions.

Yes, many individuals find it beneficial to combine DBT with other therapeutic approaches.

At 12 South Recovery, we prioritize individualized care, ensuring that each patient’s unique needs are met, and their journey is as effective and supportive as possible.

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At Twelve South Recovery, we accept most health insurance.

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