DBT For Better Parenting

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was designed as a treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD). A defining feature of borderline personality disorder is problems with emotion regulation. Of course, the ability to regulate ones emotions is important for everyone. It may be an especially important skill for parents.

So, can DBT also help people become better parents? One recent article suggested that it might. The overlap in skills between those learned in DBT and those required for effective parenting are numerous. Those parenting skills include:

  • the ability to a remain calm
  • accepting difficult situations
  • effective limit setting
  • autonomy granting
  • supportive and loving responses to children's negative emotions

As the authors state, “Theory suggests that parents who struggle to manage their own emotions are poorly equipped to help their children navigate… [the] developmental process.”