Welcome!! We are glad you are considering participating in our Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program. DBT is a highly effective treatment that has helped 1000’s of people overcome suffering and build a life worth living. The following information will provide you with an overview of the model.
What is DBT?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a well-researched and comprehensive treatment approach designed to help people who have difficulty regulating their emotions. The research shows it reduces depression and anxiety significantly. DBT works by helping participants to become more aware of their emotional experiences. At the same time, the program teaches the skills necessary to tolerate and regulate emotions. The approach is skills based so assertiveness skills are also taught to enable participants to effectively ask for what they want from others and say no to things they don't want. There are two major goals of the treatment; one is increasing acceptance of life and all of its complexity and the other is to change negative patterns of coping. This balance of acceptance and change is an example of a dialectic which means two things that are opposite can both be true.
Who can benefit from DBT?
Studies have shown that DBT reduces:
Developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. at the University of Washington in the early 1990's, DBT was originally designed as an innovative and integrative treatment for suicidal and actively self-harming patients with a history of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations who met criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Because of its success in treating this patient population, DBT has gained in popularity and has been used to treat a broader range clients who present with many of the characteristics listed below.
DBT separates skills training from individual psychotherapy, requiring participants to attend weekly skills training groups in addition to being in ongoing and weekly DBT psychotherapy. As a unique and powerful way to further reinforce the skills taught in the skills groups, telephone coaching with a trained DBT therapist is available between group sessions. One of the key assumptions of DBT is that while we may not have caused all of our problems, we are the only ones capable and responsible for fixing them. This requires a continual willingness on the part of DBT participants to put in the hard work necessary for making the changes they want in order to create lives worth living. Because of the personal dedication, sacrifice and effort required to successfully complete our DBT program, applicants are screened during a multi-week orientation process before being eligible for admission into a DBT skills group.
Dialectical means that opposites can coexist and be synthesized. In DBT a primary dialectic is between acceptance of a person as they are, while knowing at the same time they are working to change unwanted responses. Dialectical thinking allows us to weigh out various points of view in any situation which enhances our ability to be more effective in our lives.
Behavior therapy is based on the study of how behaviors are learned. It focuses on helping people change ineffective ways of coping by learning new, skillful ways of coping. DBT focuses on specific goals that can realistically be attained and for the most part, it is a "doing" therapy rather than a talk therapy.
DBT assumptions about participants:
DBT assumptions about therapists: