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-What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and how can it be used to help us address our codependent thoughts, behaviors, and actions?

-Why is it disempowering to use the term “codependent” when describing ourselves? And how might it be helpful to focus more on describing our behaviors?

-What is a useful skill from DBT that we can begin to use to describe, express, assert, and reinforce our needs?

Welcome to episode 102! This week, we are graced with the brilliance of Dr. Hollie Granato, PhD, who provides us a 101 lesson on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and how it relates to codependency. You’ll hear Dr. Hollie discuss how DBT challenges labels and terms like ‘codependency’ and why it is important to focus more on the behaviors underlying the label: people-pleasing, conflict avoidance, self-doubt, etc. Hollie reveals the DBT methods and skills she uses with her clients to help them develop mindfulness, articulation of thoughts/feelings/needs, and self-acceptance. It’s a must listen!

More on the episode’s guest:

Dr. Hollie Granato is a DBT and CBT certified clinical psychologist practicing in Beverly Hills. She trained at the University of Washington where her work focused on the intersection of sexual trauma, substance use, and emotion dysregulation. Hollie is currently in private practice as well as remains involved in several research grants and supervision/training of clinical doctoral students.

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More deets on this episode:

We begin with a 101 lesson on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) thanks to Dr. Hollie’s expertise int his therapeutic modality. The creator, Marsha Linehan, found herself in a dialectical dilemma, and thus, created a type of therapy to integrate cognitive and humanistic approaches to balance skills-building and fostering acceptance in patients.

And how does DBT define codependency? Hollie shares how there is an effort to avoid labels like ‘codependency’ as they may disempower an individual to stay stuck in their own behavior. Instead, Hollie suggests that the definition of codependency should be defined “in behavioral terms and asking what are the individual’s goals and what are the behaviors getting in the way of those goals?” Wow!

We hear about the codependent behaviors found in the patients Hollie works with who struggle with emotion regulation, including staying in unhealthy relationships, denial/not seeing relationships for what they are, begging/pleading for their partner to change, resentment building, and passive-aggressive behavior.

How does DBT help address codependent behaviors? SKILLS! All the skills. As well as individual therapy, phone coaching, and consultation for the therapists. Hollie emphasizes how exposure is also paramount as it is a way for us to break codependent patterns on our own terms since we initiate the boundary setting, the saying “no,” or the assertion of our needs.

We conclude with a description of the DBT skill D.E.A.R.M.A.N: describe, express, assert, and reinforce our thoughts/feelings/needs. The M.A.N. part denotes being mindful, appearing confident, and negotiating. You can read more about it here:

Thanks for coming on Hollie!

And thank you, dear listener, for listening!
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