DBT is the acronym for Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. Often, those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have an extremely hard time managing their emotions. This often reveals itself with quick changes in emotional responses and angry outbursts. Following a BPD diagnosis, your psychiatrist or psychologist may recommend some sort of therapy treatment. They will likely recommend DBT, but why is that?

Goal of DBT

DBT aims to help clients accept their emotions while simultaneously changing their reactions. This is something that may seem “normal” for someone who is not up against a BPD diagnosis, but for those who are, the concept is one that must be learned. Someone who goes through DBT can come out with exceptional results and new behavioral skills.

Teachings in DBT

Sometimes the smallest skills that DBT teaches someone can make the biggest impact. Here are four of the target teachings when it comes to DBT:

Distress tolerance

Being able to tolerate levels of stress during a crisis may not come naturally to someone with BPD. Their typical cognition may instead be paralyzed by incessant thoughts of why they cannot change a certain situation. Distress tolerance teaching will help the client come to terms with the general idea that some things cannot be changed and that it is okay even if it doesn't feel right.


Being mindful of your surroundings without passing judgements is yet another skill taught in DBT under the term “mindfulness.” Clients in DBT will learn the beauty of observation independent of control. Part of being mindful also means acknowledging emotions and feelings as they arise without passing judgement on yourself.


Setting appropriate boundaries and being able to say no is an important part of BPD treatment if the client is to recover long term. DBT will teach clients how and when to set these boundaries while still maintaining healthy friendships and relationships with those around them. Clients will also be taught how to defend those boundaries appropriately.

Organizing emotions

It is unhealthy to allow your emotions to completely control your thoughts and actions. DBT teaches people working through their diagnosis how alternative methods like journaling can allow them to organize and manage their emotions in a healthy way. Human emotions cannot be controlled, but in order to live a healthy life, we must find ways to not let those emotions, no matter how strong, control our lives.

BPD No More is a mental health service located in London, Ontario. The service does not aim to replace therapy but instead to add to your existing therapy. If you have been diagnosed with BPD, speak with owner Dee Chan and set up a consultation appointment!

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy skills are for people who have trouble regulating their emotions. They help people manage their emotions in a different way so that the emotions do not become overwhelming and engulf the person to the extent where they feel compelled to engage in self-destructive behaviour such as attempting suicide, cutting or “splitting.” DBT teaches people how to negotiate relationships differently so that they can maintain those relationships with the people they care about the most and even take those all important relationships to the next level and grow in a healthy way so everyone feels like they are getting their needs met.

The difference between CONTROLLING and MANAGING emotions is subtle but it is an important distinction for clients to understand before starting any of my courses because I will teach you how to manage your emotions, not control them.

DBT is usually taught in a series of four modules.

Many people have benefitted from DBT including Lady Gaga who spoke frankly and openly about her struggles with her mental health Lady Gaga.

Did you know that Selena Gomez has undergone ?Dialectical Behavioural Therapy after living a life of one meltdown after another? Here is what she had to say about her experience: