Selena Gomez on the red carpet

Selena Gomez Introduces “DBT” to the Public


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Selena Gomez on the red carpet

More and more celebrities in recent times have spoken out about the benefits of therapy, but Selena Gomez’s recent Vogue interview is one of the most transparent portrayals of late. Known for her authenticity and vulnerability when it comes to living through heartbreak and self-discovery in the public, Gomez doesn’t shy away from bringing readers into her very intimate healing process at a 90-day rehab stay last October.

After canceling the last leg of her Revival Tour, Gomez flew to Tennessee to dive headfirst into treatment with a handful of other women. “You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls,” she says. “Real people who couldn’t give two shits about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.” There at the facility, Gomez engaged in individual therapy, group therapy and even equine therapy. However, it’s not these therapies that she ultimately credits to her getting better.

In this month's Vogue interview, Gomez brings readers into the healing process during her 90-day stay at a rehab center last October.

In the interview, Gomez claims that “DBT has completely changed [my] life.” For many people who are struggling to get help, Gomez’s frank admission is crucial to learning more about the variety of therapy options available to an individual looking for help.

What is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specific form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that focuses on the psychosocial aspects of treatment. This often means that people treated by DBT are usually involved in both individual and group therapy, so that they can learn to practice newly learned skills with others in a safe and supportive environment.

Originally created to treat Borderline Personality Disorder, a disorder characterized by extreme mood swings such as sudden fits of anger, passion, or suicidal tendencies, DBT is now used to treat a variety of mental disorders. This includes, but is not limited to, eating disorders, major depressive disorder, anxiety, and substance abuse.

The method can also explore an individual’s past or history in order to better effectively move past his or her situation. As with other common therapies, it also focuses on changing and replacing negative thinking patterns with positive coping skills. DBT usually involves homework outside of scheduled group sessions such as writing daily journal entries or jotting down a list of emotions felt during the day.

Four Main Skills

In order to stabilize an individual’s thinking patterns, DBT incorporates four sets of behavioral skills:

  1. Distress tolerance: A skill that focuses on the patient’s worst tendency when under severe distress. Most patients would turn to self-harm or a substance to alleviate the anxiety they feel in the moment. DBT strives to replace this negative behavior with a positive coping skill such as the use of a stress ball or journaling about the emotions.
  2. Emotion regulation: A skill that helps individuals recognize the exact emotion they are feeling. The recognition is vital to naming the overwhelming source of anxiety so that a more useful skill can be utilized to alleviate the stress.
  3. Mindfulness: A skill that helps an individual remain in the present moment. Focusing on the present allows patients to not dwell on the past or become overwhelmed about the future.
  4. Interpersonal effectiveness: An essential skill that helps an individual deal with stressful situations and communicate with others on an effective level.

The need for help is never something to be ashamed of, and even the people who seem to be flawless still suffer. The more people realize this and educate themselves about the different treatment types, the more healthy and different society will become. Today, Gomez still goes to therapy five days a week and puts mental wellness first in her life. Though fortunately mental health advocacy is increasing through the years, there’s still much improvement to be done in removing stigma. As she says, “I wish more people would talk about therapy.” In the meantime, Gomez is using her platform to speak more than ever.

Do not let shame hinder the help that anyone deserves in order to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. If you or someone you know is looking for counseling and therapy options, please visit our directory of mental health resources or call 866-606-0182 to talk with an expert today.

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