All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


7 Comments

Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Over the years, my posts have tended to be about:

(a) incidents of my life that have been analysed beyond all reason
(b) subjects that I have researched and/or lived through so I feel I have some understanding of them
or
(c) random insanity.

Rarely (if ever) do I sit down to write about something I know little about, mostly because doing so fills me with embarrassment over my ignorance and naivity, both of which play into my social anxiety quite severely.

However, for today’s entry in the Mental Health Month Challenge, I must battle through this anxiety to admit my lack of knowledge over two rather well known areas of psychotherapy as the prompt is: I don’t know much about this, but I’d like to.

So please forgive my lack of knowledge on these subjects :)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT-Triangle1

“Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes and contents through a number of goal-oriented, explicit systematic procedures. The name refers to behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and to therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioral and cognitive principles and research.” [from Wikipedia]

For several years, virtually every psychiatrist, therapist or counselor I saw raised the CBT acronym within a matter of minutes.

Of all the therapies available I’ve always believed that this could have the greatest impact in changing my thought patterns and emotional responses toward my anxiety, mood swings and self-hate, but given my nomadic homeless life, I’ve never been in a position to undertake the treatment nor fully research what this psychotherapeutic approach entails.

Now that I’m in a better position to push forward with my life, this is certainly something I’m planning to look into further, even if it means going it alone via books and/or the internet because of my distrust of psychiatrists and the mental health system.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

DBT Model Of The Mind

“Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a system of therapy originally developed by Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, to treat people with borderline personality disorder (BPD).DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. DBT may be the first therapy that has been experimentally demonstrated to be generally effective in treating BPD.A meta-analysis found that DBT reached moderate effects. Research indicates that DBT is also effective in treating patients who present varied symptoms and behaviors associated with spectrum mood disorders, including self-injury.Recent work suggests its effectiveness with sexual abuse survivorsand chemical dependency.” [from Wikipedia]

Although I know even less about DBT than CBT, over the last few years I’ve been hearing more and more about this psychotherapy and the possible gains it can bring to someone’s life.

Unlike CBT this has never been raised by any of the MH professionals I’ve seen, which leads me to question just how beneficial it would be in helping me deal with the issues I face? Thus, I would need a lot more information about this subject (and talk to a professional about it’s possible benefits) before I put any thought into whether this could be helpful or not, but it’s certainly something I’m interested in pursuing in my quest to become a better version of myself.

So if anyone wiser than I has any links or book recommendations for someone wishing to research CBT or DBT, please let me know in the comments section, Twitter or email as your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly :)