Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Is An Effective Way To Combat Some Of The Challenges Presented By Autism
DBT is a therapeutic approach that teaches essential skills in four areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and personal effectiveness. You can read more about our approach to DBT here, and you’ll quickly be able to recognize how its focused, structured, and skills-based framework can be a meaningful treatment for individuals with autism.
All of our clinicians specialize in DBT, and we have an experienced counselor on staff who works primarily with autism and neurodivergence. Using what’s called a “diary card,” your Long Island or Manhattan-based Suffolk DBT therapist will help you track emotions and behaviors so that you can become more aware of triggering stimuli. Your therapist will also perform a “chain analysis,” which peels back the layers of a particular behavior so that you can better understand that behavior’s function and impact on your daily experience. Group therapy is also an essential element of DBT, so you will get an opportunity through treatment to work with and learn from other individuals in the autism community.
With the four major DBT skills activated, you have a chance to practice stress management and regulation in real-time. Not only can DBT treatment put elements of your autism into perspective—it can help you improve your mental health, interpersonal skills, and general outlook. For instance, mindfulness can help you become more self-aware and less anxious, while distress tolerance can assist with emotional shutdowns. Emotional regulation is particularly helpful for intense distress responses (or meltdowns), and personal effectiveness will allow you to set boundaries and advocate for yourself in a meaningful way.
If you or your child are diagnosed with autism, it can be easy to feel defeated or like you won’t be given a chance to live a full, purpose-driven life. But therapy can help change the way you approach your neurodivergence. Through counseling at Suffolk DBT, you can gain a new outlook on your autism as you develop the skills needed to navigate the world around you.