Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a relatively new treatment approach that helps individuals who have difficulty regulating their emotions and engage in self-defeating or self-destructive behaviors in response to intense or painful emotions. Originally formulated for individuals with impulsivity, self-injury, and the unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions that characterize borderline personality disorder, DBT has been expanded to include treatment for adults with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Therapy typically consists of weekly sessions for six to twelve months up to one year that focus on helping individuals develop new skills of mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance to provide an alternative to binge eating and purging episodes. Early research on DBT for eating disorders has shown that following treatment people receiving DBT report fewer binge episodes, fewer days of binge eating, decreased anger, and reduced concerns about weight, body shape, and eating.
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