The finding that “Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) reduces depressive symptoms, improve effective control, and improve mindfulness self-efficiency” are not surprising to the Meehl Foundation DBT therapists, who have been using DBT since the start of the foundation in 2005. The step-by-step process of emotional regulation is a core component of DBT rarely taught to the general public let alone people with mental illness. “A randomized, controlled, pilot study of dialectical behavior therapy skills in a psycho-educational group for individuals with bipolar disorder,” has just been completed. This study shows significant improvement in mindfulness awareness, less fear and more control in emotional states and fewer emergency room visits. Having a measure of control in emotional states is the key component.
No one likes to “feel” out of control. DBT mindfulness is the key to learning the “what and the “how” skills to taking control of your own mind. Learning that you do not have to believe every thought you think, is the first step to emotional regulation and reducing your distraught feelings. Learning then, the skills to radical acceptance and “letting go” are the set of skills used to learn distress tolerance which increase your threshold of tolerance to feeling upset. When you increase your threshold to tolerate being emotional you can then make better choices in any situation.
Bipolar Disorder is still under diagnosed and misdiagnosed. Not surprisingly, Borderline Personality Disorder- characterized by maladaptive coping skills, has been clinically proven to affect 50% of people with Bipolar Disorder. The thought behind this, is that people struggle desperately to manage their chemical imbalance of the brain, eventually not being able to cope well with life’s challenges. Many of the characteristic of Bipolar Disorder are carried over to BPD. The correct therapy and the correct medication change lives. The Gold standard for years has been DBT therapy. Having an “intensively trained” DBT therapist is the key to leading you to a calmer and richer life.
The Meehl House currently offers the only transitional residential home specializing in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy that is an “Amen Brain Healthy Treatment Program” for clients with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, depression and substance abuse. Living in a supportive environment with Mark and Debra, residents learn new skills for achieving and maintaining emotional regulation with access to the Meehl Foundation Intensively Trained DBT Team. Clients develop distress tolerance skills and learn how to take control of their thoughts and their actions.
Debra Meehl, DD. is a Certified Pastoral Counselor and Intensively trained Dialectical Behavior Therapist (DBT) and Skills Trainer. She is the founder and President of the Meehl Foundation, Co-Author of the “Friends and Family Bipolar Survival Guide” and documentary presenter of the Life Focus TV series “A Mind Misunderstood” continually airing since October 5, 2012 on PBS, TLN and TNN.