Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a multi-faceted approach designed to help people who were chronically suicidal and engaging in self harm behavior. Research continues to show it has the best outcomes for those suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, but it’s also showing promising results for treating substance abuse, eating disorders and Posttraumatic stress disorder. Utilizing aspects of behavior training and Eastern philosophy, it’s goal is helping people live “a life worth living”.

The term Dialectics refers to a philosophy which merges opposite thoughts and feelings into a “gray area” where both can be true at the same time. It teaches that you can love someone and hate someone simultaneously without experiencing emotional conflict. Learning how to accept both of those emotions as true and accurate can be difficult. In DBT, we use a combination of individual therapy and skills training to teach people how to react differently to these emotions and how to experience them more effectively.

Skills training focuses on 4 main components-Mindfulness, Distress tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Often taught in a weekly or bi-weekly group session-these skills represent the “meat and potatoes” of this therapy. Individual sessions are often used to improve a client’s motivation and recognize goals. Adaptive behaviors are taught and reinforced in group and during individual sessions. This modality is support-oriented, cognitive based and collaborative.