Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioural treatment designed for people who experience difficulties in managing their emotions and who may have found ways of coping which include self-harm and attempted suicide.

People who may benefit from DBT are likely to have behaviours consistent with the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD).



DBT works by focusing on set targets, especially reducing life-threatening behaviours, and anything that might interfere with therapy. It’s ultimate aim is to decrease emotional suffering and help build a life worth living.

It will look to teach people specific skills to deal effectively with themselves and with the world around them. DBT therapists use a balance of acceptance and change decrease techniques as it looks to help you learn to manage difficult emotions by letting yourself experience, recognise and accept them.

DBT and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) both help you to change unhelpful behaviours. However, DBT differs from CBT in that it also focuses on accepting who you are at the same time. DBT places particular importance on the relationship between you and your therapist, and this relationship is used to motivate you to change



Your GP may have information about the best ways to access DBT in your local area and may be able to tell you able local services.

You may also discover local private therapists offer DBT, although they will charge a free so this is not an option for everyone.