What Is DBT? The Therapy That Changed Selena Gomez’s Life Forever

Selena Gomez is gracing the cover of the latest issue of Vogue. Inside the publication, the singer spoke out about her mental health struggles, her rehab stint, and the therapy treatment that worked for her. The songstress canceled her Revival World Tour and stayed in rehab for 90 days due to the symptoms of her ongoing lupus diagnosis.

In her new Vogue profile, Selena Gomez says she now sees a therapist five times a week. She also credits Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for helping her handle her mental health struggles. Gomez realized she was struggling with anxiety and depression in the midst of her tour, which caused her to cancel any future dates and seek treatment.

DBT is an approach similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but it is used for borderline personality disorder. However, it has been used to treat other mental health conditions, reports Motto. It can also help those suffering from PTSD. DBT focuses on three or four key areas, which are mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation, according to Uproxx.

“DBT has completely changed my life. I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”

As what spurred her desire to seek treatment for the second time, growing from a child star into an adult pop star made Selena feel insecure. She wasn’t sure if she was doing a great job at what she does, even though she’s at the top of the music charts, and she has the most-followed Instagram account.

“Tours are a really lonely place for me,” Gomez admitted. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I wasn’t good, wasn’t capable.”

“I felt I wasn’t giving my fans anything, and they could see it – which, I think, was a complete distortion. I was so used to performing for kids. At concerts I used to make the entire crowd raise up their pinkies and make a pinky promise never to allow anybody to make them feel that they weren’t good enough.”

That’s when Gomez realized she wasn’t just performing for kids anymore. She noticed there were college kids and young adults smoking and drinking in the audience. She wasn’t sure how to react to that kind of attention. Not only was Gomez figuring herself out as she was getting older, but she had to figure out her age group as well. All of the stress made her feel insecure about herself and her ability to perform.

Fortunately, Selena has kicked the habit of self-loathing and replaced it with a newfound confidence thanks to DBT. She took a digital detox and stopped obsessing over her Instagram account. Selena left her phone alone during those 90 days and found herself with a group of women who supported her. She worked with the young women in a program that included individual therapy, as well as group therapy and equine therapy.

Wearing @coach for @voguemagazine !!

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

She still hardly posts on Instagram to this day. Gomez says she no longer has the app on her phone and doesn’t even have access to her account. It’s now in the hands of her personal assistant, who will update Gomez’s Instagram every so often. She sometimes dreams of the day when she can do away with social media altogether.

“As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” she said. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like s*** when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.”

Selena Gomez will continue to practice DBT even as she works on her next solo album. She was open and honest in her Vogue profile except when it came to her new relationship with The Weeknd, who’s popped up on her Instagram account. Gomez would rather place the focus on her mental health and therapy, as long as it inspires others to seek help. She’s the executive producer of her new show, 13 Reasons Why, which starts streaming on Netflix on March 21.

[Featured Image by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for SiriusXM]