Selena Gomez talks about mental health and dialectical behaviour therapy: Know what it is

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Selena Gomez, as soon as probably the most adopted star on Instagram and now an artiste who makes use of her voice to lift consciousness about mental health, is a month shy of turning 29. Recently, in a dialog with Vogue Australia, the singer opened up about her mental health journey and shared that she has studied Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). “I’ve studied DBT. I’ve been to four treatment centres. I think in mental health, I never understood the stigma until I went to my first treatment centre, because that was years ago,” she was quoted as saying.

What is DBT?

“Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an effective form of therapy which could possibly be seen as an offshoot extension of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). It was specifically designed for patients of Borderline Personality Disorder with whom techniques of CBT weren’t seen to be enough in order to enhance their adaptive coping behaviours. It has effectively been tried with patients who have self-injurious behaviours and who may be actively suicidal,” Dr Deepak Raheja, a Delhi-based therapist, advised indianexpress.com.

He added, “There are some studies that establish its effectiveness in OCD, eating disorders and non-specific anxiety disorders. Another area of interest where DBT could be useful is PTSD.”

“In DBT, the client is taught how to enhance their adaptive skills, connecting to the moment with appropriate reasoning to help them see and accept alternative patterns of behaviour; all of which revolves around the basic concept of validation. This makes the client accept the change and adapt to them with the least cognitive dissonance,” he stated, highlighting the significance.

Agreeing, Dr Minansa Singh Tanvar, scientific psychologist division of mental health and behavioural sciences Fortis Healthcare, stated typically known as the third wave of CBT, “it started with patients with self-harm and who might find it hard to handle stress. It uses mindfulness as the core aspect of DBT and helps patients develop a sense of awareness and observe things and deal with things better. It is very important for those who need to understand how to tolerate distress and overwhelming emotion”.

In the interview, the singer went on to speak about her religion in medicine and what recommendation she is going to give others. “I never want to be a person that’s like: ‘I got medication, it’s fine now.’ I do believe in medication, obviously, therapy – all of these things I’ve done to try and make myself better. But my advice isn’t going to be: ‘Oh, you’re going to get over it.’ It’s actually an everyday practice,” she stated.

“And like I said, I also go to therapy. You can find ways to live in it. But once you understand it, the fear of you admitting that you have something goes away.”

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