Dialectical Behavior Therapy


Kayla Donaldson, Reporter

Mindfulness is the practice of being conscious and present in one’s day to day life and could be a remedy to all the stress high school students face. Emma Kassebaum, a senior in the Blackman Collegiate Academy, did her Capstone project over mindfulness and using techniques to be mindful.  

Mindfulness breaks down into several counterparts, but Kassebaum focused specifically on Dialectical Behavior Therapy. DBT is a type of cognitive behavior therapy that teaches the person to accept that he or she is good enough.  

Several disorders are helped by DBT, to name a few: Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety, Bipolar, PTSD, and Chronic Suicidal Thoughts.   

Dialectical Behavior Therapy teaches how to tolerate and cope with emotional pain during crisis without fighting how you feel. It teaches mindfulness (being fully aware in the present), how to ask for what you want and say no effectively, and how to understand and change emotions if necessary. 

The techniques for dialectal behavior therapy that Emma Kassebaum taught at her presentation were: 

  1. “Hot Chocolate Example”- Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and then exhale for a count of 8. It’s called the hot chocolate example because you can imagine you are holding a cup of coco and smelling it then trying to cool it off. 
  1. “Butterfly Hug”- Cross your arms and take turns tapping each arm slowly. Make sure to close your eyes and think of a safe place. 
  1. “Toe-Heel”- Alternate your feet and heels, touch one heel to the floor while the other foot is on its toe, slowly alternate. It works both sides on your brain and when you slow your body down it slows your thoughts and relaxes you. 
  1. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Method”- You close your eyes and name five things you can see, 4 things you can feel, three things you can feel, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This methods grounds you to your surroundings and calms you down.  

Dialectal Behavior Therapy improves your mental health by helping you to not bottle up your emotions.  

Having the capability to put yourself in to the present moment can make you able to address your feelings and obstacles in your everyday life and be able to deal with how you feel healthily.