• Kat Schultz

DBT Goes Mainstream in Marvel's 'She-Hulk'



The new Marvel Studios television show She-Hulk introduces Bruce Banner's cousin. Jen Walters is an elite lawyer...and a Hulk. That means she turns into a big, green bodybuilder when she's emotional. The show follows her as she tries to practice law in her new state of flux.


When Jen first gets her powers, Bruce (the original Hulk) takes it upon himself to educate her in the ways of Mindfulness to help her control her transformations. To do so, he teaches her Dialectical Behavior Therapy, known colloquially as DBT. The evidence-based therapy centers on the concept of dialectics, that two things can be true at the same time. It also has a big focus on mindfulness practice.


Bruce invites Jen to do some breathing exercises and practice Radical Acceptance non-judgmentally. Jen isn't into it. She's already able to change forms at will because, as a woman, she has plenty of experience controlling her anger.


While Jen decides that DBT isn't for her (for now; new episodes are released weekly), it is widely used to treat suicidality and emotion dysregulation with documented success in the real world. We'll see if DBT comes back in later episodes. It's likely Jen won't find being a Hulk as easy as she thinks.


She-Hulk airs Thursdays on Disney+

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