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Online Dialectical Behavior Therapy: What is It, Who Is It For & How Effective Is It?

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Many people battle mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. These conditions can make coping with life's challenges difficult, causing significant distress and interference in daily activities. Fortunately, many effective treatments are available, one of which is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Borderline personality disorder is a condition that is particularly well-suited to cognitive-behavioral treatment or DBT. However, it can also be helpful for people struggling with other mental health conditions. Online DBT has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing people to access this effective therapy from the comfort of their own homes.

In this blog, we will explore what online DBT is, who it is for, and how effective it can be in helping people improve their mental health. We will delve into the critical components of DBT, including mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Additionally, we will discuss the advantages and limitations of online therapy and provide tips on how to find a qualified online DBT therapist.

Whether you are considering online DBT for yourself or a loved one or want to learn more about this effective therapy, you've come to the right place. So, let's dive in and start by understanding what dialectical behavior therapy is!

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral therapy initially designed to help individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who often struggle with intense emotions, difficulty regulating emotions, and unstable relationships.

DBT combines cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques with mindfulness practices to help individuals develop skills for managing difficult emotions, improving their relationships, and coping with distressing situations. In DBT, individuals learn to accept their emotions and thoughts while working to change unhelpful behaviors and patterns. One of the critical principles of DBT is the concept of dialectics, which refers to the idea that two seemingly opposite things can be accurate at the same time.  

Overall, it is a highly effective therapy that has proven to help individuals with various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, and PTSD. Dialectical behavioral therapy provides individuals with practical skills for managing difficult emotions and improving their relationships, helping them live more fulfilling lives.

Who Benefits Out Of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)


When we think about it, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a very versatile therapy that can help many individuals struggling with mental health conditions. DBT has since been modified to benefit people with different problems, but it was initially created to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Here are some of the conditions in which DBT can be particularly helpful:

  1. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): DBT was originally designed to help individuals with BPD, who often struggle with intense emotions, impulsivity, and unstable relationships. It is highly effective in reducing self-harm behaviors and suicide attempts and improving overall functioning in individuals with BPD.
  2. Eating Disorders: To help individuals with eating disorders, particularly those who struggle with binge eating and purging behaviors, DBT can be helpful. It can help individuals develop coping skills to manage difficult emotions and improve their relationship with food and body.
  3. Substance Abuse: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can also be useful for individuals struggling with substance abuse by providing skills for managing cravings and coping with triggers. It can also help improve overall functioning and reduce the risk of relapse.
  4. Anxiety and Depression: DBT effectively reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression by helping individuals develop skills for managing difficult emotions, reducing negative self-talk, and improving interpersonal relationships.
  5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): DBT can be helpful for individuals with PTSD by providing them with skills for managing flashbacks, reducing anxiety, and improving their overall functioning.

It's important to note that while DBT can be helpful for a wide range of conditions, it may not be the best fit for everyone. It's important to work with a trained therapist to determine whether DBT is the right therapy for you and to receive individualized treatment tailored to your needs.

The Key Components Taught During A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Session


In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) 's four key factors are mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Each component focuses on developing specific skills to help individuals cope with difficult emotions, improve relationships, and increase overall functioning. Want to know how let's have a look into it:

  1. Mindfulness: Paying attention to the current moment without passing judgment is mindfulness. In DBT, mindfulness is used to train people to pay closer attention to their feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. By developing mindfulness skills, individuals can learn to observe their experiences without getting caught up in them or reacting impulsively.
  2. Distress Tolerance: Distress tolerance is coping with distressing situations without worsening things. DBT teaches individuals skills for tolerating difficult emotions and situations, such as distraction techniques, self-soothing, and radical acceptance.
  3. Emotion Regulation: Emotion regulation involves identifying and managing emotions healthily. DBT teaches individuals skills to understand and accept their emotions, reduce emotional vulnerability, and increase positive emotions.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Interpersonal effectiveness involves improving communication and relationship skills. DBT teaches individuals skills for assertiveness, setting boundaries, and healthily resolving conflicts.

DBT is often delivered in a group format, where individuals learn and practice these skills together. In addition to group therapy, DBT can be delivered in individual therapy, phone coaching, and online therapy.

How Does Online Dialectical Behavior Therapy Work

Online Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a convenient and accessible way for individuals to receive therapy from the comfort of their own homes. While the format may differ from in-person therapy, the core principles of DBT remain the same.

Here's how online DBT works:

  1. Finding a Therapist: To begin online DBT, the first step is to find a licensed therapist trained in DBT and offering online therapy services. Many therapists now offer online therapy through video conferencing platforms, secure messaging, or phone calls.
  2. Initial Assessment: Once you've found a therapist, the next step is to complete an initial assessment to determine if DBT is the right therapy for you. This may involve completing a questionnaire or speaking with the therapist.
  3. Treatment Planning: Following the initial evaluation, the therapist will collaborate with you to create a treatment strategy catered to your unique requirements. This may involve setting goals for therapy and determining which components of DBT will be most helpful for you.
  4. Weekly Sessions: Online DBT typically involves weekly sessions with a licensed therapist. These sessions may occur over video conferencing, secure messaging, or phone calls.
  5. Phone Coaching: Besides weekly sessions, online DBT may include phone coaching between sessions. Phone coaching involves contacting the therapist for support when experiencing difficult emotions or situations.
  6. Skills Training: One of the key components of DBT is skills training. In online DBT, skills training may occur through online videos, handouts, or other resources the therapist provides.

So, as you can see, online dialectical behavior therapy is not much different from traditional in-person therapy sessions. But still, is it as effective as in-person sessions? The question remains. Well, we have answered that as well. Read along to know more.

Is Online DBT As Effective As In-Person Therapy Sessions

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a well-established form of psychotherapy proven effective in treating various mental health disorders. With the rise of online therapy platforms, more people turn to online DBT as a convenient and accessible option. But the question remains: is online DBT as effective as in-person therapy sessions?

The short answer is yes. Online DBT can be just as effective as in-person therapy sessions. Online treatment, including DBT, is supported by a growing amount of evidence for a number of mental health issues. Online DBT was found in one trial to be equally as beneficial as in-person therapy for easing the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Another research published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare found that online DBT was effective and more cost-effective than in-person therapy. This is particularly important for individuals who may not have access to traditional therapy services due to financial or geographic barriers. In addition, online DBT has a lot of advantages as well. 

  • Online therapy eliminates the need for travel and allows individuals to receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who have mobility issues or live in rural areas with limited access to mental health services.
  • Online DBT allows for greater flexibility in scheduling appointments. With online sessions, individuals can schedule therapy sessions around their busy schedules, making receiving the treatment they need easier without disrupting their daily routine.

But of course, as with any form of therapy, the effectiveness of online DBT can depend on a range of factors, including the individual's specific mental health condition and their level of engagement in the therapy process. If you are considering online DBT, working with a licensed therapist trained in delivering DBT through online platforms is important.

How To Find The Right Online Dialectical Behavior Therapist When In Need

How To Find The Right Online Dialectical Behavior Therapist

Choosing the best online dialectical behavior therapy can be challenging, particularly if you require instant assistance. Knowing where to begin can be challenging because there are so many online treatment platforms and therapists available. Here are some pointers to assist you in locating the ideal DBT therapist online:

  • Look for licensed and experienced therapists: It is important to work with a licensed therapist who is trained and experienced in delivering DBT through online platforms. Look for licensed therapists in your state who have experience treating your specific mental health condition.
  • Consider your budget: Online therapy can be more affordable than traditional in-person therapy but still comes with a cost. Consider your budget when choosing an online therapist, and look for therapists who offer flexible payment options or accept insurance.
  • Consider therapy format: Online DBT can be delivered via video conferencing, phone calls, or messaging. Consider which format would work best for you and look for therapists who offer that format.
  • Trust your instincts: The most important factor in choosing an online DBT therapist is how comfortable you feel with them. Trust your instincts and choose a therapist with whom you can build a strong therapeutic relationship.

Finding the right online DBT therapist may take time and effort, but it is an important step in getting the help you need to manage your mental health. Considering these tips, you can find a therapist to help you improve your overall well-being by achieving your goals.

Get Online Dialectical Behavior Therapy With Lifebulb

Online dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a convenient and accessible option for individuals seeking treatment for various mental health conditions. With its focus on mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral techniques, DBT can help individuals develop the skills to manage their emotions and improve their overall well-being.

Although some may be hesitant to try online therapy, the evidence suggests that online DBT can be as effective as in-person therapy sessions. With the growing availability of online therapy platforms and licensed therapists, finding the right therapist for your specific needs is easier than ever.

If you are considering online DBT, remember to look for licensed therapists, consider your budget, read reviews, consider the therapy format, take advantage of free consultations, and trust your instincts. You can discover a therapist to assist you in reaching your objectives and raising the quality of your life by keeping these suggestions in mind.

At Lifebulb Therapy, we offer both in-person and online therapy for DBT to help individuals manage their mental health and improve their overall well-being. Our skilled therapists are trained in delivering therapy through online platforms and can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you on your mental health journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can participate in online DBT treatment sessions from the convenience of your home using dialectical behavior therapy and its principles, including mindfulness and recognising emotional patterns.

CBT focuses on the interplay between your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. While DBT does address these issues, a greater emphasis is placed on emotion regulation, mindfulness, and developing a pain tolerance.

Distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, and emotional regulation are the four core tenets of DBT. To be precise:

  • Developing awareness.

  • Learning how to communicate effectively with others. 

  • Learning how to control and endure stress. 

  • Gaining emotional control.

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