Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was designed to help people manage strong emotions, thinking patterns, and behaviors that cause misery and distress. It works through both individual therapy and group skills training sessions. DBT combines both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness approaches to help people understand and change patterns of living that cause suffering. An evidence-based treatment supported by years of published research, DBT has been shown to be as, or more, effective than other therapies for the problems mentioned below.
Who benefits from DBT?
DBT may be for you if you:
find it challenging to manage strong emotions
would describe yourself as extremely sensitive
have difficulties with relationships, intimacy, or fear abandonment
experience frequent rapid mood changes
have mixed anxiety and depression
engage in self-destructive thoughts or actions
DBT has been shown in numerous clinical studies to:
enhance motivation and desire to live more fully in your life
improve emotion management
improve interpersonal relationships and communication
decrease self-destructive behaviors
enhance your ability to manage crises
How does DBT work?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy separates skills training from individual psychotherapy, requiring participants to attend weekly skills training groups in addition to ongoing, weekly psychotherapy. As a unique and powerful way to further reinforce the skills taught in the skills groups, telephone coaching with a therapist is available between group sessions.
One of the key assumptions of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is that while we may not have caused all of our problems, we are the only ones capable of, and responsible for, fixing them. This requires a continual willingness on the part of DBT participants to work hard and look at themselves honestly, in order to make the changes necessary to create lives worth living.
Because of the personal dedication, sacrifice and effort required to successfully complete our Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program, applicants are required to complete an individual DBT Orientation & Commitment session as part of the assessment process. Targets of DBT treatment: (in order of priority)
Decreasing high-risk suicidal and self-harming behaviors
Decreasing therapy interfering behaviors by either therapist or patient
Decreasing quality of life interfering behaviors
Learning and mastering behavioral skills for mood-independent life choices
Decreasing symptoms related to post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression
Enhancing and sustaining self-respect
Additional goals set by client to create a life worth living
Skills Taught in DBT:
Core Mindfulness - being present and non-judgmentally aware in the moment
Interpersonal Effectiveness – relating skillfully with others
Emotion Regulation - learning to skillfully use or change emotions
Distress Tolerance - managing difficult feelings without acting impulsively
DBT Group Schedule
Mondays 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This DBT Skills Training Group is designed for all Adults (ages 18 and above) who suffer from "Borderline Personality Disorder" and/or any other symptoms involving mood swings, depression, anxiety, difficulty coping with daily life, and relationship struggles. Research has shown this model of treatment to be very helpful in resolving suicidal thinking, addictive behavior and self-injurious behavior such as “cutting” and eating disorders.
Tuesdays 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This DBT Skills Training Group is designed for Young Adults (ages 18 - 30) who suffer from “Borderline Personality Disorder” or similar symptoms involving mood swings, depression, anxiety, difficulty coping with daily life, and relationship struggles.
Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This DBT Skills Group is designed for Adults (ages 18 and above) who suffer from "Borderline Personality Disorder" or have difficulties with mood, coping and relationships.
Tuesdays 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This DBT Skills Group is for Adults (ages 18 and above) who either have mild to moderate mood/coping/interpersonal difficulties or more severe symptoms including Borderline Personality, Bipolar Disorder, or Major Depression. Especially helpful for employees who are on short term disability for stress or depression. Some of our Intensive Outpatient Program clients also attend this group as part of IOP.
For Psychiatrists & Therapists
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why should I refer a client to DBT Skills Training?
Therapists not trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy are often unaware of the specific benefits a client can receive from DBT Skills Training. Dialectical Behavior Therapy as a modality is unique in its systematic approach to helping individuals with emotional regulation problems, particularly, but not exclusively, those individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Dialectical Behavior Therapy views extreme thinking, behavior and emotions as the result of both motivation problems and capability deficits. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is unique because it includes both individual psychotherapy to address motivation issues (the motivation to stay alive and replace dysfunctional behaviors with more skillful ones) and skills training to develop competency in the skills necessary to make that happen in real life. It is this translation from motivation to action that is crucial to therapeutic success. DBT as a mechanism for such success has been rigorously researched in clinical settings.
While skills training can be offered individually, it is most powerful and effective in group settings. Either way, it is a necessary component of treatment for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder and other serious emotional regulation difficulties. Clients attend skills training weekly for up to a year or more, while remaining in individual psychotherapy. Skills training includes a system of diary records, homework, and group accountability, and is led by a therapist specifically trained to teach DBT skills.
I have worked with my client for years yet I know he/she could benefit from skills training. If I refer my client to The Prism Programs, how do I know I won’t lose my client permanently?
There are several ways we work with clients at The Prism Programs:
If a client who is not in individual therapy is referred to us for DBT, she/he would be referred to one of our network therapists who is DBT trained.
If you believe your client would benefit from DBT Skills Training and you are to remain that client’s individual therapist, our skills trainer will work collaboratively with you so that treatment goals can be met. We are here to support you, too.