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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that has been demonstrated to be very effective for people with Borderline Personality Disorder. It has also been shown to be an effective intervention for people with depression, post traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, and people that need help regulating and managing their moods.

DBT treatment focuses on helping people develop what seems like opposite strategies – acceptance and change. The goal often is to improve the quality of your life and to create a meaningful life – a life worth living. DBT treatment includes development of new skills in four areas:

  1. Mindfulness – being fully aware of your moment to moment experience.
  2. Distress Tolerance – Learning to tolerate emotional distress and learning to cope with the distress in a healthy way
  3. Interpersonal Effectiveness – Learning how to develop and maintain healthy, respectful, supportive relationships
  4. Emotion Regulation – Learning how to identify and change depression, anxiety, anger, guilt and shame

Standard DBT includes individual therapy one time per week, a skills training group which is usually 2.5 hours per week, DBT phone coaching, and a therapist consultation team. People who are acutely suicidal, currently self harming or currently abusing drugs or alcohol may benefit more from the standard, more intensive DBT program.

DBT informed treatment utilizes DBT principles and skill building in individual treatment sessions and phone coaching when needed. DBT informed treatment may be indicated for people who feel that they are on an emotional roller coaster, people with significant mood fluctuations, people who often feel out of control, people whose relationships unsatisfying and characterized by conflict.

The Anxiety and Depression Center offers DBT informed treatment. If you require a more intensive DBT program we are happy to refer you to a program that can address your needs.