What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment designed specifically for individuals with self-harm behaviors, such as self-cutting, suicide thoughts, urges to suicide, and suicide attempts. Many clients with these behaviors meet criteria for a disorder called borderline personality (BPD). It is not unusual for individuals diagnosed with BPD to also struggle with other problems – depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, eating disorders, or alcohol and drug problems. DBT is a modification of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In developing DBT, Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. (1993a) first tried applying standard CBT to people who engaged in self-injury, made suicide attempts, and struggled with out-of-control emotions. When CBT did not work as well as she thought it would, Dr. Linehan and her research team added other types of techniques until they developed a treatment that worked better. We’ll go into more detail about these techniques below, but it’s important to note that DBT is an “empirically-supported treatment.” That means it has been researched in clinical trials, just as new medications should be researched to determine whether or not they work better than a placebo (sugar pill). While the research on DBT was conducted initially with women who were diagnosed with BPD, DBT is now being used for women who binge-eat, teenagers who are depressed and suicidal, and older clients who become depressed again and again.
(Taken from http://www.behavioraltech.com/downloads/dbtFaq_Cons.pdf )
Our DBT Program and mental health services are run by trained Professionals with a passion to help clients create a life worth living. Individuals participate in weekly therapy, weekly skills group and have access to phone coaching from a DBT therapist. Most insurance health plans including Medical Assistance and pre-paid Medical Assistance plans cover our services.
Our Groups go through the four DBT skills:
Mindfulness is the ability to be in the present moment. Being mindful is to experience your current environment, sensations, feelings, and thoughts in a nonjudgmental way. It is a skill to use when distracted and overwhelmed. It takes practice to “ground” ourselves when our world or thoughts become so busy.
Interpersonal effectiveness is the skill of learning how to have respect towards yourself and others, while also getting your needs met. It is about learning how to communicate effectively and be a good listener.
Emotion regulation involves healthy management of a range of emotion. It is about learning the logical purposes behind emotions and how they help us.
Distress tolerance is learning how to get through difficult moments without making it worse. It involves a way of thinking and acting that alleviates pain in a healthy way. They are skills to help you cope in the short-term when the issue or problem cannot be solved at the time.
For a list of current DBT groups, click here.