About DBT Therapy

Find out what we offer and if DBT Therapy might be right for you.

What is DBT?

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Therapy to help you learn skills that work, develop behaviors that help, and discover a life worth living. DBT is something that can help you untangle your life. The philosophy of Dialectics tells us that two usually opposite things can be true at once. 

For instance: 

  • You can accept yourself as you are, AND want to change 
  • Someone can have bothersome behaviors AND be worthy of love and respect 
  • You can have a traumatic past AND look forward to a bright future

Behavior is how we react to the environment inside and outside of us. We use behaviors to get our needs met. Our behaviors are not always useful and healthy, though. Therapy is the synthesis (joining) of loving acceptance of ourselves and working to change our behaviors to improve our lives.

DBT is Support-Oriented, Cognitively-Based, and Collaborative

A DBT Program has four parts to it: 

1. You attend a Skills Training group once a week to learn hands-on ways to approach: Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

2. You also attend individual therapy once a week with a specially trained DBT therapist. This is your time to learn more about how to apply skills to your life and have one on one time with your therapist. 

3. You are able to reach out to the DBT therapists after hours if you are struggling with finding a skill that helps or if a skill is not working for you. This is not Crisis Counseling but short tutoring sessions, usually 5-8 minutes long. 

4. The DBT therapists gather once a week to be sure they are providing the most effective treatment for their clients. Clinicians do the same work they expect of the participants. We work collaboratively to support the DBT program.

History of DBT

Marsha Linehan developed DBT in the 1980’s, initially for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is a personality disorder that was previously difficult to treat without DBT techniques.

Clients with BPD may experience symptoms such as:

  • Intense emotional swings 
  • Self harm or suicidal thinking 
  • A feeling of emptiness 
  • Hopelessness 
  • Chaotic relationships 
  • Fear of being abandoned 
  • Impulsive or addictive behaviors 

DBT has become what many consider the one of the most clinically proven therapies as it is shown to be highly effective by numerous studies since 1991.
DBT is Support Oriented, Cognitively based and Collaborative. DBT has grown well beyond a therapy to help one specific diagnosis. It has been found to be
effective with other diagnoses such as:

  • Personality disorders beyond just BPD
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Chronic and treatment resistant disorders

DBT has been adapted for substance use, inpatient settings, and adolescents. If you have questions about DBT Therapy, feel free to contact us using the form below or call us at 316-945-5200.

Contact Us