DBT Therapy For OCD – How To Use Treatment Effectively?

DBT Therapy For OCD

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from OCD, you may be wondering if DBT therapy is the right treatment for you. DBT, or dialectical behavior therapy, is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health disorders, including OCD. In this blog post, we will discuss how to use DBT therapy for OCD effectively and get the most out of your treatment.

What Is DBT Therapy For OCD?

DBT stands for dialectical behavior therapy, and it is an evidence-based type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It is particularly effective for treating OCD. The goal of DBT is to help individuals learn how to manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in order to reduce the symptoms of OCD and live a healthier lifestyle. It is based on the idea that individuals need to change their behavior in order to change their thoughts, feelings, and overall well-being.

How Does DBT Therapy Work For OCD?

DBT therapy for OCD usually involves individual and group sessions with a trained therapist. During the individual sessions, you will work one-on-one with your therapist to develop skills like mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. All of it can help you better manage your OCD symptoms. Group sessions focus on teaching you how to apply those skills in real-life situations in order to improve your overall functioning.

Additionally, DBT therapists often provide homework and other activities for you to do between sessions in order to help reinforce the skills that were learned during therapy. These activities can include things like journaling, mindfulness exercises, or even learning how to practice self-care.

What Are The Benefits Of DBT Therapy For OCD?

There are many benefits of using DBT therapy to treat OCD, for instance:

  • It helps you learn how to better regulate your emotions and reduce distress.
  • This teaches you how to be more mindful in order to gain a better understanding of yourself and others.
  • It helps in gaining insight into the root causes of your OCD and developing effective strategies for managing it.
  • You will learn how to become more effective in interpersonal relationships, which is important for reducing feelings of anxiety or fear associated with OCD.
  • With it, you can build self-confidence by setting goals and developing skills that help you accomplish them.
  • It helps reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions such as OCD by teaching individuals how to manage their symptoms successfully.

Studies have found that individuals who undergo DBT therapy experience an improvement in their mood, increased ability to cope with stressors, improved relationships, and an overall greater sense of self-confidence.

DBT Skill Sets Used To Treat OCD

There are four primary skill sets that are used to treat OCD with DBT:


This skill set focuses on learning how to be present at the moment and observe thoughts and feelings without judgment. This helps to reduce the intensity of OCD symptoms by allowing you to recognize and accept them without getting overwhelmed by them. It also helps to increase self-awareness by increasing your ability to pay attention and observe your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Emotion Regulation

This skill set helps you learn how to identify and manage your emotions in a healthy way. It involves learning how to recognize triggers that can lead to negative emotions and developing strategies for managing them more effectively. This can help you stay in control of your feelings and reduce the intensity of OCD symptoms. It is the foundation of DBT and the most important skill for OCD treatment.

Distress Tolerance

This skill set helps you learn how to cope with difficult or overwhelming situations in a productive way. It involves learning how to accept your emotions and thoughts without judging them and learning how to find positive ways to move forward in spite of distress. It is important for reducing the severity of OCD signs, as it is often difficult to confront the disorder without becoming overwhelmed by it.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

This skill set teaches you how to effectively communicate and interact with others in order to resolve conflicts or make requests. It also helps you learn how to set boundaries and stand up for yourself without compromising your relationships. This can be beneficial in managing OCD symptoms, as it helps you learn how to cope with difficult situations in relationships and reduce the stress associated with them.

How To Apply DBT Therapy In OCD

There are a few steps you can take to help apply DBT therapy in treating OCD:

  • Establish a trusting relationship with your therapist: This is an important first step to ensure that you are comfortable with the therapy and can openly discuss your symptoms.
  • Identify core values: Secondly, prefer what you want from the treatment. This will help you focus on what matters most to you and provide motivation for overcoming OCD.
  • Learn DBT Skills: Work with your therapist to develop a personalized set of skills to help you better manage your OCD symptoms.
  • Practice the skills: Regularly practice the skills and strive to use them in your day-to-day life.
  • Track progress: Keep a record of how you’re doing with the skills and track your progress over time.
  • Celebrate successes: Reward yourself for the progress you’ve made and celebrate your successes.

By following these steps, you can begin to use DBT skills to help manage your OCD symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. With the help of a qualified therapist, you can learn how to cope with difficult situations and develop better relationships with yourself and those around you.

Alternate OCD Treatment Options

There are other treatment options for OCD:

  • Exposure and Response Prevention: This type of therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the thoughts, images, or situations that trigger your OCD symptoms. The goal is to reduce your anxiety by allowing yourself to experience these triggers without engaging in compulsions or other behaviors designed to reduce distress.
  • Medication: Certain medications can be used to treat OCD as well. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed for people with OCD and can help reduce symptoms when combined with psychotherapy.
  • Self-help strategies: There are a number of self-help strategies that you can use on your own to manage your OCD symptoms. For instance, these include relaxation techniques, exercise, journaling, time management skills, and distraction techniques.
  • Support groups: Joining a support group can be beneficial for people with OCD, as it allows you to connect with others who understand what you’re going through. After that, this can provide a sense of community and support that can help you cope with your symptoms.

By exploring these different treatment options, you can find the approach that works best for you and take steps toward managing your OCD.​


In conclusion, DBT is an effective treatment for OCD that focuses on developing skills to help manage the disorder. It involves learning how to be mindful and accept your thoughts and feelings without judgment, regulate emotions in a healthy way, cope with difficult situations, and interact effectively with others. However, by following these steps and working closely with a trained therapist, you can begin to use DBT skills to better manage your OCD symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

For more information and guidance, please contact MantraCare. OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding Online OCD Counseling experienced therapists at MantraCare can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session

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