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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is an evidence-based treatment, developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, who wanted to help people who:

  • Live painful lives
  • Have a hard time regulating their emotions
  • Have many worries and are anxious much of the time
  • Feel depressed a lot, despite good treatment
  • Feel painful and empty
  • Feel out of control in their behavior
  • Have trouble staying sober, despite treatment
  • Eat and/or sleep too much or too little
  • Feel suicidal
  • Engage in self-harming behaviorperson and tree illustration

Sometimes people have suffered painful experiences in childhood or teenage years that they can't stop thinking about. They find it hard to sleep without nightmares or they feel angry or sad much of the time. They may abuse substances in order to cope. In relationships, they often feel misunderstood, hurt, angry or afraid that others don't or won't like them.

While no single treatment can "fix" all of these problems, DBT helps people find a reason to go on living. DBT therapists believe that one of the main reasons that people do desperate things like some of the behaviors listed above, is because they have learned coping skills to deal with strong emotions that are not healthy or effective.

In DBT treatment, we focus on these painful feelings and work to help you tolerate them better or even change them, rather than avoid them. We help you with this by teaching important skills to use in every life situation.

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at Behavioral Health Network includes:

  1. Skills Groups - like classes that teach you the new skills. The skills you learn help you cope with very painful experiences, improve your relationships, help you focus better on things that are important to you and manage your emotional ups and downs.
  2. Individual DBT - sessions are provided either in individual therapy or case management sessions. This is where you will learn to apply the skills that you learn in groups to your own life.

  3. Skills Coaching - provided by intensively trained therapists when you need it most! All of the staff leading skills groups have been trained to coach you on using DBT skills when you experience intense emotions.

Current DBT programs are running in the following areas of Behavioral Health Network:

Please contact any of the above listed services to learn more.