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Refuge from Emotional Storms

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used in place of professional advice, treatment, or care in any way. Lawyers, law students, judges, and other legal professionals in Massachusetts can find more on scheduling a Free & Confidential appointment with a licensed clinician here.

It can be difficult to keep track of all the various forms of psychological help that are out there.  Each year seems to bring a new wrinkle, and reliable scientific validation is often hard to come by (and approaches backed by tightly designed studies often seem less amazing in real-life practice).  One approach that is pretty well accepted among mental health professionals and that also gets good reviews from patients/clients is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  At this point, it’s been around for over 30 years and is certainly no longer a fad – but it’s harder work (for both therapist and patient) than many therapies and not so widely available.  Drawing upon elements of behavioral treatment as well as Buddhist-tinged concepts such as “radical acceptance,”  DBT can be conceptualized as a collection of learnable coping skills that are particularly useful for individuals who have a tumultuous emotional life.  People whose lives seem to be full of such “drama” are typically not choosing to make life difficult; their outer expression reflects their inner reality.  DBT accepts that and sets about building compensatory skills.  For an example of a case that might be applicable, see our column on page 3  of the March issue of MBA Lawyers Journal.

Jeff Fortgang, PhD

CATEGORIES: Treatment

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