Antiracist Adaptations to Dialectical Behavior Therapy

At the core of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is the dialectic of acceptance and change. In the past year, the president of the American Psychological Association (APA) recently defined racism as a pandemic (APA, 2020), and both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) have declared racism a serious public health threat. This presentation will explore therapist treatment interfering racist behaviors and strategies for increasing antiracism in DBT (includes DBT skills from Linehan, 2014)-Awareness, Knowledge, Skills, and Advocacy. The seven levels of invalidation will also be explored-empathic failure, dismissive, stigmatization, gaslighting, internalized, abusive and systemic. Linehan (2014) advises therapist to consider four options to solving any problems we may encounter-1) solve the problem by changing the situation, 2) change emotional responses to the problem, 3) tolerate the problem and 4) stay miserable by making it worse. The tools discussed in this presentation will supports clients of color who cope with the harmful effects from racism and increase resilience, hopefully trying to solve the problem vs. making it worse or staying miserable.

Presenters

Samantha Mishne, MSW

Clinical Director , Bellefaire JCB

Email: mishnes@bellefairejcb.org