DBT was first developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), It has now become the go to therapy for Borderline, but its usefulness does not end there. Research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders.
So what is DBT? It is focused on learning and applying skills in four main areas. Those areas are mindfulness, Interpersonal effectiveness skills, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance skills. Mindfulness helps us learn how to be in the present and to become more aware of our thoughts and emotions. Interpersonal effectiveness skills helps us to help healthy relationships with realistic expectations and healthy boundaries. Emotional regulation skills provides ways to handle our emotions and understand them. Finally distress tolerance skills gives tools to manage crisis without making them worse. In reality these are all skills each of us could use.
I have used DBT with several of my clients, especially teenagers. I have seen how it has helped my clients regulate their emotions, become more effective in their relationships, be able to handle hard situations in a healthy manner, and not be controlled by their pain and hurts anymore. If you are struggling with managing your emotions, relationships, being overwhelmed with your past, or struggling with trauma DBT could be the answer.
TRP is specifically designed to interrupt the fear, terror, and helplessness of traumatic memories. This process will begin the separation of emotion from the trauma and start the memory reconsolidation process during the sleep and the REM cycle. This process will shut off the brain's fight or flight mechanism, allowing for the symptoms associated with PTSD to stop.
When dealing with trauma, or acute or post-traumatic stress, the reactions occur through no fault of our own. The brain hijacks the event and believes you need to preserve yourself through a fight or flight response. Self-preservation is the primary responsibility of the brain through a brain organ called the amygdala. This is an essential function of the brain and essential for human survival as a species. When a traumatic memory doesn't process appropriately with adequate sleep, you will retain immediate access to the event's emotions in the amygdala. Causing the fight or flight response to engage oftentimes in inappropriate settings. Then the feeling and memory are readily available like a thumb drive for easy access. Nightmares, triggers, intrusive thoughts bombard the brain, causing a problem with normal functioning. Maybe the individual will isolate, self-medicate or worse, resort to suicide as a prolonged situation drags out.
The Trauma Resiliency Process (TRP) interrupts this pattern of behavior. It allows the memory to be viewed in a dissociated fashion, removing color, speeding up or slowing down, integrating smells, tastes, rewinds, etc., to stop the event's intensity. In the rewind part of the process, the brain says, "Time-out," releases the memory's emotion because it runs the event backward. It thinks the event is ending on the positive before the trauma occurred, therefore lets go of the feeling because subconsciously, the brain recognizes it's violating the self-preservation rule. Memory reconsolidation then occurs as sleep patterns are restored, and the body comes back to a sense of homeostasis.
TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.