DBT gives you skills to thrive on.
A fulfilling life is not about surviving... it's about thriving. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a fancy psychotherapy term that describes one path to thrive in your life.
Build your life skill toolbox.
Mindfulness: Being present in the moment and developing awareness of your inner and outer experience
Emotion Regulation: Building strategies for de-escalating emotions
Distress Tolerance: Discovering ways to manage difficult feelings without acting impulsively
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Interacting with others in ways that that build satisfying and fulfilling relationships
Walking the Middle Path: Learning how to compromise and negotiate
There's more than one way to thrive.
We recognize that all humans can absolutely benefit from learning DBT skills and incorporating them into daily life. For example, mindfulness is an essential DBT skill that can help you effectively manage your emotions and lead a healthier and happier life. Practicing mindfulness allows you to become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. When we can pause and check-in with ourselves, we ultimately have more control over our behaviors and choices.
We currently offer DBT-informed therapy (described below in "terms to know") for teens and adults. DBT-informed therapy used with teens is adapted from the DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents, offered in individual and/or group settings. DBT-informed therapy for adults is adapted from various DBT skills manuals and workbooks for adults offered in an individual setting.
The History of DBT
DBT was developed in the 1970s by Dr. Marsha Linehan as a treatment for women with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness with symptoms ranging from chronic suicidal thoughts and/or self-harming behaviors to anxiety and depression. This intervention is a unique combination of traditional cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and an acceptance-based mindfulness approach.
Let's get technical:
Since its origination, DBT has proven to be an effective treatment modality for a wide variety of issues. This approach has been adapted for use with eating disorders, substance and alcohol abuse, depression, bipolar disorder, behavior disorders, ADHD, anxiety, and adolescents. DBT can also be very helpful for people who have emotional instability and serious behavior symptoms.
The word “dialectical” means that two opposing ideas can be true at the same time. In DBT this means the therapist works to balance acceptance and change. Clients practice acceptance of their feelings while also acknowledging that they need to make changes. “I am doing the best that I can and I need to do better”. This is a helpful notion for most individuals and families.
Terms to know:
Standard DBT is an intensive therapy which is most often delivered in inpatient, residential, and intensive outpatient settings or at a DBT center. This form of treatment is costly and time-intensive; however, it does increase the likelihood of positive outcomes. Standard DBT includes individual therapy, group skills training, telephone skill coaching and weekly team consultation meetings for the therapist.
DBT-Informed Therapy usually involves implementing only some of the modes of DBT (for example, the skills training group) or making adaptations to the current skills curriculum and handouts. The skills taught in the four modules can be of benefit to clients with a wide range of presenting problems and there is research to support the effectiveness of the partial implementation of DBT.