Self-harm often arises as a way to cope with strong emotions. DBT has been found effective in helping reduce self-harm behaviours, particularly in young people.
There are many ways DBT can help if you’re trying to stop self-harming. It can help you learn other ways to regulate your emotions. It can also help you build the skills you need to open up to others and tolerate feelings of distress without hurting yourself.
DBT was originally developed to help those at risk of suicide, and it is still one of the most popular and successful applications today.
There are many reasons people consider suicide. Often, the feelings of distress have become too much for one to bear — and ending their life can feel like the only way out.
Learning how to sit with these feelings of distress, while maintaining hope that change is possible, can be powerful.
In addition to coping better with the feelings of distress, DBT helps people develop more adaptive coping mechanisms — such as emotional regulation or learning the interpersonal skills necessary to have an honest conversation about how they are feeling.