Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
What is DBT?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., in the 1980s. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy, group skills training sessions, and phone coaching to help people learn and use new strategies to cope with stress and develop a life that they experience as worth living.
How is DBT different from other therapies?
DBT is different from other therapies in that it involves learning specific skills to help clients cope with challenging life situations. Skills can be learned either in individual DBT therapy or in a DBT skills group. DBT therapy also incorporates phone coaching, meaning the client can call or text the therapist when they need support in between therapy sessions. Phone coaching is one of the best ways to start to begin to practice skills learned in therapy out in the real world. I offer phone coaching free of charge to all my clients.
What is DBT used to treat and how effective is DBT?
DBT is recognized as the gold standard in treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and has also been proven to be effective in treating:
See here for research done proving DBT’s efficacy.
Types of DBT Skills
DBT focuses on helping clients build 4 sets of skills:
Mindfulness skills: developing awareness of the present moment, reducing suffering and increasing happiness.
Distress tolerance skills: managing a crisis without making things worse, getting through a difficult moment.
Emotion regulation skills: understanding emotions and changing emotions to improve the way you feel.
Interpersonal effectiveness skills: asking for what you need and saying no effectively.
What if I’m interested in DBT?
I run a DBT skills group in my practice and I also offer individual DBT sessions. See here for more info on the group and to see if it’s a good fit for you.