Selena Gomez, 26, is reportedly undergoing treatment at an East Coast psychiatric facility following an alleged “meltdown” at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The “Wolves” singer was hospitalized for a low white blood cell count when she allegedly “freaked out” in what sources have called “an emotional breakdown.” As part of her road to wellness, she’s reportedly undergoing dialectical behavior therapy. What exactly is DBT?
1. It’s a therapy method that tries to get you to stop thinking bad thoughts. DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that, according to WebMD, tired to “identify and change negative thinking patterns,” while pushing for positive behavioral changes. The term “dialectical” is due to the idea of bringing together two opposites in therapy – acceptance and change – yields better results.
2. It was originally created in the 1980s. A relatively young therapy, DBT was developed in the late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, as an intervention method for suicidal women (and to treat those who were chronically suicidal.) suicidal. Past therapy methods were so focused on changing cognitions and behaviors that many patients felt criticized, misunderstood, and invalidated, and consequently dropped out of treatment altogether,” according to the article by Alexander L. Chapman, PhD at the NCBI. By focusing on acceptance as well as change, DBT sees greater results than just telling someone to change.
3. It’s used to treat complex mental health problems. Though DBT is widely used to treat people with borderline personality disorder, the treatment is used to treat a wide range of mental health issues, like depression and binge-eating disorders. It’s also used to help those with mental health problems that threaten a person’s safety, relationships, work and emotional self.
4. DBT has many parts. To hear that Selena is reportedly in a facility and “undergoing treatment,” that could invoke horrible (and inaccurate) images straight out of American Horror Story: Asylum. Instead, Selena is likely undergoing the following: individual therapy, group therapy and a therapist consulting team.
DBT also has five functions of treatment: Enhancing Capabilities, which involves developing the skills that help someone regulate their emotions, effectively navigate interpersonal situations (how to interact with others) and tolerating distress; Generalizing Capabilities, which takes these skills learned in therapy and applies them to the real world; Improving motivation and reducing dysfunction, which includes weekly monitoring forms (“diary cards”); Enhancing and maintaining therapist capabilities, aka going to therapy; and finally, Structuring the environment, which means avoiding social circles that promote self-harm.
5. This is not the first time Selena has undergone this. Selena has “received” DBT in the past, according to TMZ. This means that in the past, she’s undergone therapy to help navigate the negative thoughts. Here’s hoping that Selena feels better, soon. Life is hard and sometimes, it just gets to you.
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