The Center for Integrated Behavioral Health  offers a full-model comprehensive Adult Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program. Our DBT team is intensively trained by Marsha Linehan’s, Ph.D., ABPP group at Behavioral Tech.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., for the treatment of suicidal and self-harm behaviors, and has been adapted to meet the needs of multi-problem clients.

The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has described DBT as “one of the best, if not the best, treatment” for chronically suicidal and self-injurious individuals (SAMHSA, 2011).

Who can benefit from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Individuals who:

  • Have suicidal thoughts (chronically) or past suicide attempts
  • Injure themselves (e.g., cutting, scratching, burning)
  • Have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Have difficulty regulating their emotions
  • Have difficulty managing relationships with others
  • Use ineffective coping and problem-solving skills
  • Act impulsively
  • Abuse substances
  • Have disordered patterns of eating

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Components

Individual Therapy (~1 session per week)

  • Create a life for the client that is worth living
  • Eliminate life-threatening behaviors (e.g., suicidal and self-injurious behavior)
  • Eliminate therapy-interfering behaviors (e.g., late or missed attendance, non-completion of homework)
  • Decrease quality-of-life-interfering behaviors (e.g., depression, anxiety, anger, relationship problems, impulsive behavior, risky behavior, missed school or work, disordered eating, substance abuse)
  • Apply problem-solving and new coping skills to recent and current difficulties

Skills Training Group (~2 hours per week) teaches participants to:

  • Be fully aware of the present moment without judgment and to participate in life more fully (i.e., Mindfulness)
  • Make it through crises without making things worse (i.e., Distress Tolerance)
  •  Effectively manage emotions in ways that don’t cause additional problems (i.e., Emotion Regulation)
  •  Effectively manage relationships with others, accomplish goals, and maintain self-respect (i.e., Interpersonal Effectiveness)
  •  Apply validation and behavioral principles to oneself and others (i.e., Walking the Middle Path)

Between Session Consultation Calls with Therapist  (~as needed to implement skills learned)

DBT Program Requirements

Please note that DBT is an intensive treatment requiring a considerable commitment on the part of participants.

In order to be admitted to our DBT program, participates must commit to the following:

  • Attend both individual therapy (~53 minutes) and skills training group (~120 minutes) weekly for 14 months
  • Attend both individual therapy and skills training group weekly for approximately 14 months; the research supporting DBT’s effectiveness is based on the data from participants who took part in both individual therapy and skills training group for at least one year
  • Actively work to decrease suicidal and self-injurious behavior and/or other problem behaviors (e.g., disordered eating, substance abuse)
  • Practice DBT skills and complete homework assignments taught between sessions