Dialectical Behavioural Therapy at Banbury Lodge

At Banbury Lodge, we offer Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) as part of our comprehensive and holistic programme. The skills you learn during DBT with our therapists will help you to process emotions in a safe and constructive way.

DBT has proven to be effective in treating mood disorders like depression and anxiety, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and eating disorders. One of the reasons Dialectical Behavior Therapy is so useful for such a range of problems is that it teaches you to manage distressing feelings effectively.

Regulating Emotions

Pain is a natural part of life. We all experience difficult emotions from time to time, such as grief when someone we love dies, or disappointment when someone we like doesn’t reciprocate our feelings. Anxiety too is part of being human, we might feel anxious on a first date or when giving a presentation at work. We also all experience anger, when something happens that we feel, is wrong or unjust. Some of us process these emotions easily and have no problem moving on.

DBT theory suggests that, in these situations, some people’s emotions escalate really quickly, and then take longer to return to a balanced baseline. This means that we are more likely to respond intensely to certain triggering situations, primarily in relationships with friends, family and partners.  

If you are unable to manage your emotions, the whole of your life can feel unmanageable. It can be hard to even think straight, let alone hold down a job, and have happy relationships.

If you find your emotions overwhelming, you may act out in negative ways in an attempt to get rid of them. DBT aims to give you tools for accepting and dealing with your emotions effectively.

Is DBT for Me?

There are many different reasons why you may be struggling with your thoughts and feelings. Perhaps you did not learn effective coping mechanisms for dealing with intense emotions as a child. DBT is a method of teaching you these skills.

Questions to consider:

  • Do you find it difficult to live in the present moment? Do you dwell on things that have happened in the past or worry about things that will happen in the future?
  • Do you experience extreme mood swings?
  • Do you have ‘black and white’ thinking’?
  • Do you feel like your life has consisted of jumping from one crisis to the next?
  • Do you respond to a crisis in self-destructive ways such as – using substances, harming yourself or others, excessive spending or other compulsive behaviours, or disordered eating?
  • Do you find that your emotional responses are usually more intense than other peoples?
  • Are your relationships intense and chaotic?
  • Do you struggle to be assertive?

If you answered yes to these questions DBT could be effective for you.

How Does DBT Work?

DBT is a cognitive-behavioural approach. The term ‘dialectical’ refers to the idea of finding a balance between two different perspectives that exist simultaneously, like acceptance and change.

DBT works by validating your feelings, whilst at the same time teaching the skills you need to create a life that you love. Each of the four skill sets is aimed at improving your quality of life and helping you manage your thoughts and feelings more effectively.

The four skill sets:

  • Core Mindfulness Skills teach you to experience of the present moment without judgement, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
  • Distress Tolerance Skills focus on helping you to learn to cope with crisis situations in healthy and effective ways.
  • Emotion Regulation Skills help you to tolerate your emotions when you can’t change them or reduce their intensity, and to process them in a manageable way.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills teach you to nurture your relationships through self-care and assertiveness.

Who Is DBT for?

Dialectical behavioural therapy was developed by Marsha Linehan in the 1980’s. It was originally used in the treatment of people who were suffering from persistent suicidal thoughts and Borderline Personality DisorderSince then DBT has been proven to be useful for many other people. DBT may be effective for you if you experience:


Dialectical Behavior Therapy teaches mindfulness to help you to live more in the present moment, rather than dwelling on events of the past.

DBT teaches you to identify things in life which you enjoy and find pleasurable, and which are also healthy for you. This will fill your life joyful experiences, and help you to create a life worth living.

DBT will teach you about ‘behaviour activation’ and ‘opposite to emotion action’ – you will be better skilled at dealing with difficult emotions as and when they come up.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy will offer you a way to decrease the intensity of negative emotions, so your feelings will be easier to manage.

DBT can also help you develop effective interpersonal skills like setting boundaries and trusting yourself.

Eating Disorders

With DBT skills can soothe your distress in effective and healthy ways.

You will learn to be in the present moment, welcoming experiences in a non-judgmental day, rather than being worried about the future or dwelling on the past.

You will also learn about what it is that brings you pleasure and joy in a safe and healthy way.

DBT will help you replace the eating disordered behaviour with more effective and healthy coping mechanisms.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy will help you to identify those things in life that are both pleasurable and healthy, which will enable you to create a life filled with joyful experiences.

The mindfulness aspect of DBT will help you live in the day and deal with your problems one day at a time, this will help you to experience your life as less overwhelming.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

DBT will help you develop distress tolerance skills.

DBT can also be useful in replacing any dangerous or self-defeating behaviours you might have developed as a coping mechanism, with more effective and healthy ones.

What you will learn through DBT, with the help of our therapists at Banbury Lodge, will empower you to change your life. The rehabilitation programme we offer will help you to develop emotional balance, equip you with effective stress management skills and empower you to build a life that you love and achieve your goals.

If you are interested in accessing treatment, please call us.

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