DBT Intrusive Thoughts – How Efective Is The Therapy?

DBT Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are a part of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. They can be extremely disturbing and controlling. If you have OCD, it is important to learn how to deal with these disturbing thoughts. In this blog post, we will discuss the nature of DBT intrusive thoughts and how they control these intrusive thoughts and other mental disorders.

What Are Intrusive Thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are unwanted and persistent mental images, ideas, or impulses that can cause discomfort, distress, or anxiety. They often involve unrealistic worries and fears about oneself or the world. With intrusive thoughts, it is not the thought itself that causes distress but rather the reaction we have to it. People with OCD and other mental disorder typically have intrusive thoughts related to specific themes. Some examples of intrusive thoughts are:

  • Fear of being contaminated by germs.
  • Unwanted sexual thoughts.
  • Intense fear of being harmed or harming someone else.
  • Unrealistic worries about particular events happening.
  • Recalling painful incidents from the past.

What Is DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) talk therapy. It can treat a wide array of mental health issues, including intrusive thoughts, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and many mental illnesses. DBT encourages the use of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral techniques. This help individuals recognize their thoughts and feelings. It is helpful to develop helpful coping skills for dealing with intrusive thoughts and reducing distress.

What Are DBT Skills?

DBT skills are tools and techniques used to help individuals manage their intrusive thoughts. These skills are divided into four categories:


This skill helps people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings in the present moment. It let you know who you are and how to manage your emotions. It includes observing, describing, participating, and non-judgementally accepting your current reality. This technique can help you cope with intrusive thoughts. The goal of mindfulness is to train your mind not to focus on negative thoughts and feelings.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal Effectiveness

This skill helps people to effectively communicate their needs and wants in different situations. It encourages individuals to express themselves clearly without feeling guilty or bad about it. This technique can help you set boundaries when dealing with intrusive thoughts. It helps you to maintain a better relationship with others and understand their point of view.

Emotional Regulation

This skill can help people to identify, accept and manage their feelings. It is important to learn self-regulation and control your emotions when dealing with intrusive thoughts. This technique teaches individuals how to recognize the triggers and how to reduce emotional intensity. It is possible by using relaxation techniques or other coping strategies such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness.

Distress Tolerance

This skill helps people to tolerate unpleasant feelings in order to avoid impulsive behavior. It encourages individuals to accept reality without judgment or blame and find healthier ways of coping with distressful situations. This technique can be useful when dealing with intrusive thoughts. This helps you focus on taking care of yourself while allowing space for calming down from the distressful situation.

Is DBT connected to CBT?

DBT is rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and emphasizes the need to understand behavior, thoughts, and emotions. It uses CBT techniques such as teaching problem-solving skills, educating clients about their thought patterns and behaviors and helping them learn how to respond more effectively to stressful situations.

However, DBT also incorporates features from other forms of therapy, such as mindfulness and acceptance strategies from Eastern philosophy. DBT focuses on teaching clients how to accept reality and create meaningful change in their lives by developing healthier coping skills. Ultimately, the goal of DBT is to help people become more aware of their thoughts and emotions, learn how to regulate them, improve their relationships with others, and take steps towards achieving their goals.

How Does DBT Help With Intrusive Thoughts?

How Does DBT HelpWith Intrusive Thoughts?

DBT skillsets are used to deal with anxiety, intrusive thoughts, depression, borderline personality disorder, as well as other mental health conditions. It is also effective in helping individuals manage intrusive thoughts.

DBT helps individuals to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; challenge unhelpful thinking patterns with evidence-based logic; develop strategies for emotional regulation; and practice cognitive restructuring techniques to help them better cope with intrusive thoughts.

DBT helps individuals with OCD learn how to manage their intrusive thoughts in four main ways:

  • Increasing Awareness: DBT teaches clients to become aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so they can recognize when an intrusive thought has occurred. This awareness can lead to a better understanding of why certain triggers may lead to intrusive thoughts and how to manage them.
  • Challenging Unhelpful Thinking: DBT teaches clients how to challenge the beliefs and assumptions behind their intrusive thoughts. This is done by examining the evidence for or against these thoughts and understanding why they are irrational.
  • Cognitive Restructuring: Clients learn how to replace negative, irrational thought patterns with more positive, helpful ones through cognitive restructuring techniques such as imagery and guided meditation.
  • Increasing Emotional Regulation Skills: A person learns new skills to regulate emotions triggered by intrusive thoughts. It is possible because of including relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, and emotion regulation strategies like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.

Additionally, Intrusive thoughts are part of many mental illnesses and DBT is effective in treating them. It helps individuals to recognize, challenge, and replace the irrational thoughts with positive ones.

With practice and dedication to their therapy, individuals with OCD can learn how to control their intrusive thoughts and live a more balanced life.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an effective treatment for intrusive thoughts, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression. DBT intrusive thoughts can help individuals learn strategies to manage these thoughts and regain control over their lives. With the help of this type of therapy, Clients can challenge unhelpful thinking patterns, increase awareness of triggers and emotions, and develop better emotional regulation skills. People with OCD can learn how to control their intrusive thoughts and live a more balanced life with practice and dedication to their therapy.

Take care, and don’t forget that you are not alone! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. If you have any queries regarding OCD treatmentERP therapy experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session