Virtuous Circle Counselling

DBT Therapy

Borderline Personality Disorder and DBT Therapy

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition characterized by difficulty regulating emotions and thoughts, impulsive and reckless behavior, and unstable relationships. It is a complicated condition that can be challenging to identify and manage. 

Fortunately, research has shown that Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) successfully treats this illness. DBT is a cognitive-behavioral therapy that aims to improve a person’s ability to accept themselves, acquire new coping mechanisms, and regulate emotions. We will go over the fundamentals of BPD and DBT in this article and how they can benefit those with BPD.

The classic cognitive-behavioral components of treatment are modified in various ways by DBT. The main goal of these modifications is to lessen BPD symptoms. Read more about BPD and DBT therapy and where to find Calgary therapists. 

Research Assistance

The first treatment to successfully treat BPD in controlled clinical trials—the strictest kind of clinical research—was DBT. The “gold standard” initial therapy for borderline personality disorder is DBT.

DBT has accumulated a sizable body of evidence and is acknowledged as one of the finest therapies for BPD in terms of success rates, even if it is no longer the sole therapy to have demonstrated efficacy in controlled trials.

According to a study, DBT helps reduce drug use, mental hospitalization, and suicidal ideation. The length of hospital visits, self-harming behaviors, and the severity of borderline symptoms all significantly decreased among research participants.

Theoretical Basis

DBT is based on Dr. Linehan’s theory that the main issue with BPD is emotion dysregulation. This problem is caused by a combination of biology, including genetic and other biological risk factors, and an emotionally unstable early environment, such as when caregivers punish, trivialize, or act erratically in response to the child’s expression of emotion.

Training clients about techniques to reduce emotion dysregulation and harmful ways to handle powerful emotions is a significant focus of DBT.

How to Prepare

Although there are a few exceptions, DBT typically includes individual treatment, group skills training, and coaching. DBT patients are asked to track their progress daily, monitor their symptoms, and use new skills.

The main focus of DBT skill training is on basic skill categories. Which are:

Techniques for Mindfulness in Meditation

Being present in the moment is the main objective of mindfulness meditation techniques. These abilities are centered on the capacity to be conscious of, describe, and engage in all experiences, inside and outside the body or environment, without assigning them a positive or negative value. They are regarded as foundational abilities necessary to employ other DBT skills successfully.

Someone with BPD, for instance, can become too emotional during a disagreement and act out on those feelings without thinking about the repercussions. People can learn to comprehend and control these emotions using mindfulness techniques, which enables them to step back and react more appropriately.

Skills in Interpersonal Effectiveness

This skill module focuses on effective conflict resolution and needs communication in social settings.

Ability to Handle Pressure

The module on distress tolerance skills promotes learning how to accept and tolerate suffering without doing actions that would ultimately make it worse, such as self-harm.

Emotional Control Techniques

Patients can recognize and control their emotional reactions during a session with Calgary psychologists.

Raising or reducing emotions to react appropriately and accomplish personal goals is referred to as emotion control. These emotional skills can assist those who have BPD in comprehending their feelings and learning effective, healthy ways to control and express them. 

A person might focus on developing abilities like accepting feelings, altering behavior to alter a circumstance, or finding efficient methods for controlling emotions without bursting.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be debilitating and affects many aspects of life. The good news is that there are medicines that can help people with BPD better control their symptoms and quality of life. BPD has responded particularly well to DBT, a type of cognitive-behavioral treatment. 

It focuses on helping individuals develop skills to better regulate emotions, manage stress, communicate effectively, and cope with distress. With the help of a trained therapist, individuals with BPD can learn to manage their emotions better and develop healthier relationships. DBT is an effective treatment for BPD and can help people with the disorder live a more fulfilling life.

Virtuous Circle Counseling provides various counseling services, including individual, family, and teen counselling. Contact us to speak with our Calgary therapists.

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We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.