Helping clients identify, understand, and change destructive behavior

What is DBT?
Marsha Linehan, PhD. developed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) as an intensive outpatient treatment program designed to treat clients with a high risk of suicide, self-destructive and impulsive behaviors, chronic feelings of emptiness, high anxiety, severe depression, complex post-traumatic-stress syndrome, addictions, and eating disorders. DBT is a behavioral approach that requires clients to use behavioral skills on a daily basis. As clients learn new behaviors over time, they have tools to manage intense emotions and cope when destructive urges arise. DBT is beneficial for any person who is struggling with destructive behaviors and relationships that get in the way of building a life worth living.

The 4 elements of Dialectical Behavior Therapy  (DBT)

Skills Training Group.
Our state-certified DBT team uses a dynamic and interactive approach to ensure DBT skills are clear and relevant to clients’ daily struggles. Each group consists of 8-10 clients and is facilitated by two state certified therapists. Clients are required to attend a two and a half hour group session per week. The skills taught in the group are reinforced with homework assignments in the form of skills practice and a daily skills log (Diary Card).

DBT Individual Therapy. Individual sessions are utilized to develop client motivation and to help clients apply DBT skills in their unique daily challenges. These sessions meet for one hour each week.

DBT Phone Coaching. The DBT phone coaching line is designed to assist clients with implementing DBT skills in times of crises. This is an after-hours service that can connect them with their individual therapist.

DBT Therapist Consultation Team. Our state certified providers are dedicated to providing our clients with compassionate and professional treatment. In order to hold each other accountable to this goal, we meet weekly to openly discuss new advances in DBT research, individual cases and group sessions – as well as any challenges we are facing in our work. We share a deep passion and excitement for bettering the lives of our clients; consulting in this manner ensures that we maintain the highest level of professional motivation.

The four modules taught in skills training and reinforced in individual sessions

Depression and anxiety often arise as clients re-live the past, or anticipate the future. This DBT skill will help clients to live in the present and more fully experience their senses by grounding their awareness in the present moment.

Regulation of Emotion: Emotional dysregulation is a large component of the struggles facing many of our clients. In this module, clients learn the skills to first identify their emotions, and then to reduce unwanted emotional intensity and reactivity. We also teach clients to respect their own emotions-as well as those of others, as important signals for resolving issues and increasing personal motivation.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: Clients who have experienced past traumas often times have trouble standing up for their own needs in interpersonal relationships. In this module, we teach clients to ask for what they want or need, while also teaching the importance of saying “no” to unwanted requests-in a way that supports their self-respect, and allows them to maintain positive relationships in their lives.

Distress Tolerance: Many clients often find themselves resorting to destructive behaviors when confronted with painful situations and intense emotions. This module focuses on providing clients with the skills necessary to moderate their distress, and to choose healthier behavioral patterns moving forward.