Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a structured therapeutic treatment that emphasizes balance between acceptance and change.
The core skills of DBT are Zen mindfulness-based, teaching clients how to increase awareness by noticing thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, and then strengthening attention back to the present moment. Over time, this helps clients cultivate the experience of living life from a place of “wise mind,” or centered intuition, instead of reacting to life through behavioral patterns, emotional impulses, and black and white thinking.
DBT has been an effective approach for the treatment of mood conditions, personality disorders, trauma and substance abuse. It also helps reduce impulsive behaviors such as suicidality, self-harm, substance abuse, eating disordered behavior, aggression, isolation, rumination, dissociation, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. DBT teaches skills to control these behaviors by helping clients build a life worth living through tolerating distress, learning how to bear pain skillfully, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others.
Clients in the DBT program will learn skills from the following modules:
- Mindfulness teachings will be repeated between each module. These skills help to integrate one’s sense of self by consciously strengthening attention via nonjudgmental practice onto the present moment within the person’s internal experience and in the outside environment.
- Emotion Regulation is an extensive unit that teaches clients about their emotions. Detailed attention is given to helping clients understand the function of emotions as well as how to reduce emotional sensitivity through preventative and in-the-moment effective strategies. Clients will learn how to reduce and let go of emotional intensity through mindfulness and behavioral techniques.
- Distress Tolerance is an imperative unit which helps clients when they are experiencing their most intense levels of suffering and crises. Clients learn the importance of radically accepting things that cannot be changed in life, as well as how to tolerate intense pain and distress in a safe manner. These skills help the client cope with behavioral urges which, if left untreated, can lead to exponentially worse consequences.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness includes skills to help clients get relational needs met when interacting with other people while preserving self-respect, the objective of the conversation, and safeguarding the relationship. This unit helps with people who have intense and/or volatile relationships, fear of abandonment and rejection, as well as people who have difficulty asking for something or setting limits.
All clients are provided with 1 weekly individual session, 1 weekly group therapy session, and medication management (every other week or less frequent – as needed). For your convenience and specific care needs, and now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer Telehealth services for all the sessions. The weekly individual session assists each client with the management of behaviors using diary cards and chain analysis, and the DBT phone coaching is available for further assistance to the clients who are assessed and found appropriate for this service. There is one homework and one skill group provided each week for the learning and practice of DBT skills.
Regardless of what problems you may have and what you are working through in your life, the Enhanced Outpatient DBT Services program can help you. With the help and guidance of passionate, dedicated, and caring staff, initial feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can emerge into motivation and hope towards building a life worth living one day at a time.