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What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy? with Sadie Sutton

Saddie is an 18-year-old psychology student currently enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an aspiring clinical psychologist and in her freshman year of college. Her interests lie around therapy and understanding mindfulness to improve mental health. 

Her first encounter with deteriorating mental health occurred when she was in 8th grade and during her freshman year of high school. She was experiencing severe depression and anxiety, which resulted in Saddie going for intensive treatment at McLeans Medical Facility for a year. 

Saddie engaged in Dialectical Behavioural Therapy or DBT over there and discussed it in detail.

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is research-based psychotherapy developed to help people with personality disorders and interpersonal difficulties. DBT is effective in treating depressive disorders, suicidal thoughts, and behaviour tendencies such as self-harm and drug addiction.

Mindfulness, social competence, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation are the four emotional and psychological function modules that DBT works on. In both individual and group treatment, skill development in these four components is traditionally approached systematically and progressively.

DBT was created to manage borderline personality disorder (BPD), but it has now been used to treat various other mental illnesses. It can help persons who have trouble regulating their emotions or engage in self-destructive behaviour (such as eating disorders and substance use disorders). DBT has been shown to help anxious people better manage their anxiety and experience calmer.

She made her podcast and blog intending to help other teenagers who may be struggling with their mental health. Saddie had various tools, resources and clinicians to help her get through the tough time of her life. She aims to share all of those with other teenagers because there is still a great deal of stigma around mental health and talking about it. Saddie talks about how coping mechanisms, self-soothing techniques and mindfulness can assist in helping someone struggling with their mental health.

One of her main concerns regarding teenage mental health is how people wait for things to escalate before choosing to deal with them. It is imperative to handle a situation the moment it arises. 

Her podcast is called ”Cheaper Assisted” and has already featured 70 insightful episodes. The theme of each episode addresses teenagers and their problems and teaches parents how to navigate a situation where their child is struggling. It also provides them with tips about recognising the symptoms of mental illness and helping their child.

The podcast focuses on highlighting the general feelings that teenagers experience when they are depressed or anxious like it is not focused on certain diagnoses but the general feelings. Step one of healing is acknowledging what one is thinking and feeling, so Saddie aims to help her listeners identify their own emotions to comprehend them better and continue dealing with them. 

One of the most focused topics by Saddie is the importance of a good night’s sleep. She believes that an effective sleep schedule ensures that people are well-rested and makes them perform their daily activities much better. She also made sure to fix her relationships with those around her and attend her school and job, staying focused and not leaving behind.

The mindfulness practice and years of therapy also prepared her to transition to college in a new city. Some of her key tips include keeping yourself charged, having a planner, and managing her emotions.

For a detailed podcast on the topic, make sure to subscribe to us at Apple Music and Spotify @RunThriveSurvive by Ciara Carter. I offer coaching services too and you can reach out to me at runthrivesurvive.com or patrion.com/runthrivesurvive

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