DBT begins with a set of assumptions. It is important for both the participant in DBT and their loved ones to keep these in mind when interacting with the therapy and in their daily lives. These assumptions are:
- People are doing the best they can. (This includes the person with BPD and their loved ones)
- People want to improve.
- People need to do better, try harder and be more effective and more motivated to change.
- People may not have caused all of their own problems, but they have to solve them anyway.
- The lives of the suicidal, depressed, anxious and angry people are painful as they currently are being lived.
- All people must learn new behaviors in different situations in their lives.
- There is no absolute truth.
- People cannot fail at DBT.