Best DBT Books To Read In 2022

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Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is one of the most popular forms of psychotherapy. Developed in the 1980s by esteemed psychologist and former University of Washington professor Dr. Marsha Linehan, DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy defined by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health as follows:

“Dialectical means “the existence of opposites.” In DBT, people are taught two seemingly opposite strategies: acceptance (i.e., that their experiences and behaviours are valid), and change (i.e., that they have to make positive changes to manage emotions and move forward).”

DBT has been proven to be an effective treatment for a number of mental disorders, including borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, and even PTSD.

If you or someone you know is considering DBT treatment, here are six of the best DBT books to read in 2022, compiled by Best Psych Books:

Building a Life Worth Living

Author: Marsha Linehan, PhD

What it’s about: Written by Linehan herself, Building A Life Worth Living is a memoir depicting Linehan’s life and career, from her beginnings as a troubled teenager to becoming the famed developer of dialectical behavior therapy. The book provides an overview of DBT and how it can be used to help people suffering from mental illness. It also includes case studies and personal anecdotes from Linehan’s own life. In addition, the book discusses the importance of self-care and how DBT can be used to improve one’s quality of life. Overall, Building A Life Worth Living is an informative and helpful resource for anyone interested in learning more about DBT.

From the blurb: “Throughout her extraordinary scientific career, Marsha Linehan remained a woman of deep spirituality. Her powerful and moving story is one of faith and perseverance. Linehan shows, in Building a Life Worth Living, how the principles of DBT really work—and how, using her life skills and techniques, people can build lives worth living.”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of Building a Life Worth Living on Amazon.

DBT Skills Training Manual

Author: Marsha Linehan, PhD

What it’s about: DBT Skills Training Manual is a book by Marsha Linehan that provides an overview of the DBT skills training program. This book is the ultimate resource for therapists who want to introduce clients to DBT. The book covers topics such as mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. It also includes exercises and activities that can help people practice the skills they need to manage their emotions and stay in control of their lives.

From the blurb: “From Marsha M. Linehan–the developer of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)–this comprehensive resource provides vital tools for implementing DBT skills training. The reproducible teaching notes, handouts, and worksheets used for over two decades by hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been significantly revised and expanded to reflect important research and clinical advances.”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of DBT Skills Training Manual on Amazon.

Calming the Emotional Storm

Author: Sheri Van Djik, MSW

What it’s about: Available on Kindle and as an audiobook, Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life is a guide to managing emotions using DBT skills. The book provides an overview of DBT skills and how they can be used to manage emotions, achieve balance in life, and cultivate well-being. It includes exercises and activities to help readers put DBT into practice, as well as anecdotes from the author’s own experience with DBT. The book is an accessible and practical resource for anyone interested in learning more about DBT or improving their emotional health.

From the blurb: “Calming the Emotional Storm is your guide to coping with difficult emotions calmly and responsibly by using powerful skills from dialectical behavior therapy. This method combines cognitive behavioral techniques with mindfulness practices to change the way you respond to stressful situations. By practicing these skills, you can stop needless emotional suffering and develop the inner resilience that will help you weather any emotional storm.”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of Calming the Emotional Storm on Amazon.

DBT For Dummies

Author: Gillian Galen, PsyD and Blaise Aguirre, MD

What it’s about: Written by Drs. Gillian Galen and Blaise Aguirre two mental health experts affiliated with Harvard Medical School, DBT For Dummies is a book that provides an introduction to DBT. The book begins with an overview of DBT and its history. It then describes the different components of DBT, including mindfulness, dealing with uncertainty, and managing emotions. Written with the everyday reader in mind, DBT For Dummies is easily an understandable DBT book even if you have no background in psychology. Whether you are considering DBT for yourself or a loved one, DBT For Dummies is an essential resource.

From the blurb: “Used properly and persistently, the skills and strategies in this book will change your life: when you can better regulate emotions, interact effectively with people, deal with stressful situations, and use mindfulness on a daily basis, it’s easier to appreciate what’s good in yourself and the world, and then act accordingly.”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of DBT For Dummies on Amazon.

The DBT Skills Workbook for Teens

Author: Kristen Dahlin, PhD

What it’s about: The DBT Skills Workbook for Teens is a self-help guide that teaches teens how to use DBT skills to manage anxiety and stress, understand their emotions, and learn effective communication skills. This DBT book includes exercises and activities designed to help teens practice the skills they are learning. The DBT Skills Workbook for Teens is n valuable resource for teens who are struggling with mental health issues. It can also be used by parents and professionals to support teens in their recovery.

From the blurb: The DBT skills workbook for teens is a FUN, ENGAGING and GAMIFIED experience, precisely what keeps today’s distracted teens motivated to do the work. That is already half the battle won!”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of The DBT Skills Workbook for Teens on Amazon.

The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy, and Validation

Author: Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD

What it’s about: With a foreword from Marsha Linehan herself, The High-Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy, and Validation is a guide for couples who are struggling with conflict in their relationship. The book uses the principles of DBT to help couples find peace, intimacy, and validation in their relationship. The book provides couples with tools and strategies for managing conflict in a healthy way. It also offers advice for how to communicate effectively and how to deal with difficult emotions. The goal of the book is to help couples find a way to resolve their conflict and build a more positive and intimate relationship.

From the blurb: “The High-Conflict Couple adapts the powerful techniques of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) into skills you can use to tame out-of-control emotions that flare up in your relationship. Using mindfulness and distress tolerance techniques, you’ll learn how to deescalate angry situations before they have a chance to explode into destructive fights.”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of The High-Conflict Couple on Amazon.

Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide

Author: Kelly Koerner, PhD

What it’s about: Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide is a book by Kelly Koerner that provides an overview of the DBT approach to therapy. The book provides an overview of the DBT model and its key components, including mindful awareness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. In addition, the book offers practical guidance on how to implement DBT in clinical practice. Overall, Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide is an essential resource for any clinician interested in learning more about DBT. Dr. Marsha Linehan writes a foreword for this DBT book as well.

From the blurb: “The book provides an accessible introduction to DBT while enabling therapists of any orientation to integrate elements of this evidence-based approach into their work with emotionally dysregulated clients.”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide on Amazon.

DBT Skills in Schools

Author: James J. Mazza, Elizabeth T. Dexter-Mazza, Alec L. Miller, and Jill H. Rathus

What it’s about: DBT Skills in Schools is a book that provides an overview of Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills and how they can be applied in a school setting. The book begins with an introduction to DBT and its core principles. It then provides an overview of the DBT skillset, with a focus on skills that are most relevant for working with adolescents. The book also includes chapters on implementing DBT in schools, as well as case studies demonstrating how DBT has been used effectively with students. Ultimately, DBT Skills in Schools is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in using DBT to promote mental health in schools.

From the blurb:  “From leading experts in DBT and school-based interventions, this unique manual offers the first nonclinical application of DBT skills.”

Where to buy: You can buy a copy of DBT Skills in Schools on Amazon.

Final words

Which DBT book listed above are you most interested in? If you’re looking for a little more guidance when it comes to DBT, one of the books above may be perfect for you. Each book is written by different experts in the field and covers different topics, so choose the one that sounds like it will best help you meet your goals.

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