Posts Tagged ‘Dialectical Behavioral Therapy’

Coping with Triggers in Eating Disorder Recovery

A woman reading a book

To those in eating disorder recovery, it can often feel like triggers are all around. It seems they can’t be escaped and they can’t be ignored—they come, unasked and unannounced, in the sounds and sights of everyday life.

You overhear one in the mall dressing room: “You look great – have you lost weight?” You see another on your coworker’s plate, a conspicuously small serving of the company lunch. You find yet another on your favorite restaurant menu, calorie counts in bold black font on every page.

For many, triggers are even louder and more glaring during the holidays. They may come in the form of a family get-together, where a difficult relative sidles up alongside you, or a fear food is passed around the dinner table. They may come when Grandma prepares your favorite dish differently this year, or your schedule is thrown off by holiday travel. Triggers can turn the most “wonderful” time of the year into the most overwhelming.

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What does it mean if a program says they “do Dialectical Behavioral Therapy”?

Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

By Drs Lucene Wisniewski and Mark Warren

Over the last 15 years Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has gone from being virtually unknown to being a term utilized by many treatment programs. DBT is an evidence based therapy, initially designed for Borderline Personality Disorder, and more lately for other diagnoses including eating disorders (Wisniewski, L., Safer, D., & Chen, E.Y., 2007). With its increase in popularity among treatment providers it is important to be clear about what it means to “do DBT” so an individual knows if they’re receiving evidence based care.

Comprehensive DBT treatment, initially described by Marsha Linehan, has four components: Individual therapy, skills group, 7 day week phone consultation availability, and consultation team for therapists known as “therapy for therapists”. Unless all four of these components are present, a program is not providing comprehensive DBT treatment. Additionally, in order for a therapist to be capable of providing DBT, a significant training process is generally required. This training process necessitates a therapist taking a non-judgmental stance, the ability to encourage motivation and commitment with their client, extensive knowledge and understanding of the DBT skills and therapeutic techniques, and the balance of accepting where a client is while moving them towards change.

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