Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy, first developed in the 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan, to treat patients suffering from borderline personality disorder. Since then, DBT’s use has broadened and now it is regularly employed as part of a treatment plan for people struggling with behaviors or emotions they can't control. This can include eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, and more. DBT is a skills-based approach that focuses on helping people increase their emotional and cognitive control by learning the triggers that lead to unwanted behaviors. Once triggers are identified, DBT teaches coping skills that include mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. A therapist specializing in DBT will help you to enhance your own capabilities, improve your motivation, provide support in-the-moment, and better manage your own life with problem-solving strategies. Think this approach might work for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s DBT specialists today.

Meet the specialists

Trained in DBT specifically in the context of eating disorders.

— Hillary Boykin Smith, Counselor in ,

Is a wonderful combination of behavioral therapy and mindfulness practice to help you see the world from a different, open-minded and gratifying perspective. It also offers very practical tools to manage everyday life.

— Dr. Adriana Dyurich, Licensed Professional Counselor in Corpus Christi, TX

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT) is a new treatment for patients who suffer from emotional overcontrol. RO DBT has been developed over the past 20 years for people with chronic depression or anorexia nervosa. Research results suggest that it is effective in these, and other, hard-to-treat groups. While high self-control is generally thought to be a good thing, too much self-control can be a problem for some people.

— Maggie Ritnour, Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

I have undergone intensive training in DBT and have been practicing with it since 2014. Not only do I understand the skills, I have a firm understanding of foundational principles and how to utilize the modality as a whole to shift perspective and create with clients a different approach to life. The goal of this treatment is to help clients build a life worth living and it is one of the most researched and supported models of therapy.

— Darcy Holm, Counselor in Charlotte, VT

I primarily use Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help clients achieve more skillful ways of coping.

— Online Virtual Therapy with Shaudi Adel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA

Combines concepts from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Eastern philosophy, including mindfulness and radical acceptance. An evidence-based approach found to be helpful with diverse problems in living, DBT can help provide children, teens, and families with adaptive coping and communication strategies.

— Christine Brent, Clinical Social Worker in Rochester, NY

My first experience, after my master's program, of truly learning about and applying DBT into my work was in 2012. But it wasn't until 2018 that I began using those skills on a daily basis in adult group therapy sessions. The partial hospitalization program I worked for was rooted in the DBT approach, and I was fully immersed! It's now become an integral part of my private practice work.

— Kalene Khan, Marriage & Family Therapist

I am certified in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and have led DBT groups for over 5 years. In my individual work with clients, I will occasionally discuss DBT skills and believe that DBT skills can be helpful in managing stress, regulating overwhelming emotions, and improving communication.

— Michelle Henderson, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Lynnwood, WA

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy but it also focuses on emotional regulation, and looking in-depth at the emotions which can become very overpowering as a result of our thoughts. The emotional system can get stuck "on" and we can be constantly flooded. DBT provides some tools and skills for managing this emotional flooding, while we work on the thoughts and behaviors that are causing problems.

— Rayna Jenks, in Portland, OR

I have taken extra trainings in this type of therapy style and have a lot of experience in working with those who are diagnosed with borderline/narcissistic/antisocial personality disorder.

— Natalie Jones, Licensed Professional Counselor in Oakland, CA

I have undergone specific training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and use it effectively to address a variety of issues, including emotional regulation, suicidal ideation, and self-harm, among other things.

— Corinne Allen, Associate Clinical Social Worker

I often use DBT to help change unhealthy behaviors and help others to learn to cope with stress and build stronger relationships with others.

— Coral Krueger, Social Worker in Colorado Springs, CO

DBT a therapy similar to CBT which focuses on changing patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm and suicidal thinking. The goal is to help people increase emotional and cognitive regulation by identifying triggers that lead to reactive states. Developing Mindfulness skills and Radical Acceptance are core components of this treatment.

— Kesha Martin, Counselor in San Antonio, TX

I pull from the DBT strategies of using a wise mind and coping with intense emotions in evaluation of the use of medications.

— Lee Anne Horn, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in Asheville, NC

I have been integrating the coping skills from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy into practice with all my clients for many years. DBT skills are excellent life skills and can lead us to a more fulfilling life, no matter what life challenges we face.

— Amelia Mackle, Counselor in Clackamas, OR

I provide DBT skills training to individuals based on the four modules of DBT: Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Distress Tolerance.

— Reed Balentine, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in North Little Rock, AR

I have intensive training in DBT. I use both talk therapy and workbooks in session. You will consistently have homework and ways to practice what you learn in session in your daily life to reinforce your new skills.

— Rachel Butler Dorneanu, Associate Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA

DBT nicely expands perspective by providing alternate scenarios through use of dialectics and accompanying skills. Created by Marsha Linehan, this modality offers several coping skills to use in extremely emotional moments. The coping skills fall into the following categories: interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. If you're looking for tools to add to your toolbox, DBT is the modality of choice.

— Amanda Roberson, Counselor in Beaverton, OR

Michelle utilizes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to address the whole person, to identify and challenge unhelpful thinking patterns, help manage difficult emotions, and to develop an overall more pleasant and satisfying life!

— Michelle Hughes-Leger, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

I am core trained in dialectical behavioral therapy and have lead a comprehensive DBT program for adolescents and children. I utilize constructs from DBT in my therapy practice and provide skills coaching to clients experiencing suicidal thinking, self-injury and difficulty managing intense emotions.

— Jennifer Bordner, Licensed Professional Counselor in Moorestown, NJ

DBT successfully combines the principles of CBT and mindfulness to teach you better ways to regulate your emotions, set healthy boundaries, have firm communication skills and tolerate stressful situations. This approach will teach you to how opposite things can co-exist, such as acceptance & change. While learning to accept things the way they are, you can still work towards changing the aspect of self that is not helping you.

— Menije Boduryan-Turner, Psychologist in Woodland Hills, CA

I do not currently offer comprehensive DBT with skills coaching, but I do incorporate knowledge and techniques from my advanced training in DBT in therapy when applicable. I help my clients learn DBT skills from emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, and distress tolerance modules to help them better manage stressors, improve relationships, and live life in line with their personal values.

— Nicole Issa, Clinical Psychologist in Providence, RI

I have experience co-facilitating Dialectal Behavioral Therapy groups. I believe the resources that DBT offers are beneficial for a wide variety of issues that people experience. I am DBT trained (July 2020). The skills include Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

— Kylie Ball under the Supervision of Amanda Esquivel, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Garland, TX