It was only in 2003 that the UK Government released the paper “Personality Disorder: No longer a diagnosis of exclusion”. Until that point it had been particularly challenging for people with traits of or a diagnosis of Personality Disorder to access support through NHS mental health services.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) was created with the intention of treating individuals with a diagnosis of Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (also known as Borderline Personality Disorder). Although further research has found DBT is a beneficial treatment for a wide variety of mental health problems, this is a group of individuals who often found other therapies were not very helpful.
Full DBT treatment has 4 modes, the group is only 1 part. However, the skills taught in group are beneficial to us all.
The ultimate goal of our group is:
Learning to change our own behaviour, emotions, and thoughts which are causing us misery and distress.
We want to give you the skills to build a life that you love living.
Unhelpful/Harmful coping strategies that we may use to regulate painful emotions may include (but are not limited to);
- Self-Harming Behaviours
- Over or Under Eating
- Over shopping
- Alcohol / Drug Misuse
- Taking risks around our lives such as driving recklessly
The DBT Group is not about sharing our private experiences but it about learning skills to help us:
- Feel more connected to others and ourselves
- Reduce conflict and stress in relationships
- To be able to manage change and be more flexible
- Reduce up-and-down extreme emotions and acting based on our moods
- To reduce acting without thinking
- Regulate our emotions
In DBT the characteristics of EUPD/BPD are considered in the following way:
This means experiencing extreme quick mood swings and struggling to understand your emotions and where they come from. Often people might say that they have no idea why they are suddenly feeling overwhelmed.
This may be acting impulsively or intentional self-harm behaviour.
Relationships (friendships as well as romantic relationships) might be chaotic and very intense to start with before ending quickly. People may also be in harmful relationships and experience fears of abandonment.
Feeling paranoid or disconnected from reality
People might feel very disconnected from themselves, feel very empty and numb and not have a clear sense of identity.
People may not experience difficulties in all of these areas and may struggle with one more than others. They might also be able to cope some of the time in some situations. Often people I have worked with have managed to work full time, only to get home and feel burnt out and overwhelmed by their emotions. EUPD is a disorder of our emotional regulation system and this is something that we can learn to better manage and develop an understanding of with support and practice.
For lots more detailed information the Mind Website has a helpful information page:
Alternatively, if you would like to ask any questions please get in touch.