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

 

I have been utilizing Dialectical Behavior Therapy in my practice for over 4 years. The integrations of psycho education and practice provide an ideal opportunity for complete healing for the client. DBT utilizes mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal relationship skills to provide a holistic approach to healing.

— Michelle Smith, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

I have been utilizing dialectical behavior therapy in my practice for over 4 years. The integrations of psycho education and practice provide an ideal opportunity for complete healing for the client. DBT utilizes mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal relationship skills to provide a holistic approach to healing.

— Michelle Smith, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
 

Extensive experience and training in the use of DBT skills. I use these primarily as an adjunct to the analytic work, particularly with clients who need concrete skills to help them deal with overwhelming distress early on in therapy, and I do NOT practice classically "adherent" DBT.

— Kylie Svenson, Associate Clinical Social Worker in San Francisco, CA

I have used DBT also for many years in individual and group counseling. I find that it is very helpful to others.

— Cindy Athey, Counselor in Clearwater, FL
 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive multi-diagnostic, modularized behavioral intervention designed to treat individuals and groups with sever mental disorders and out-of-control cognitive, emotional and behavioral patterns. It has been commonly viewed as a treatment for individuals meeting criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) with chronic and high-risk suicidality, substance dependence or other disorders.

— Deborah Blum, Counselor in North Miami Beach, FL

Dialectical Behavior Therapy brings together two ideas: accepting things as they are (what we cannot control) while also motivating us to own our power to change things for the better (what we can control). The goal is to develop ‘wise mind’, or the capacity to be realistic and mindful of our situation rather that succumb to reactive behavior. DBT combines Cognitive-behavioral tenets (looking at how emotions and thoughts affect our behaviors) with Buddhist meditative practices to help people struggling with suicidality, anxiety, depression, trauma, addictions, and more. The main points of DBT are: mindfulness/meditation; communicating effectively in relationships, how to better tolerate distress and cope with triggering emotions. Whether it’s learning to meditate, trying out positive self-talk, exposing themselves safely to challenging emotions, or practicing difficult conversations they want to have with loved ones, my clients find much practical use of DBT.

— Evan Honerkamp, Art Therapist in Denver, CO
 

You will benefit from DBT through mindfulness, regulating your emotions, tolerating distress, and having effective interpersonal relationships.

— Gerda Phillips, Counselor in Phoenix, AZ
 

I am not certified in DBT; however, I do enjoy using its tools and skills to improve flexibility in thinking and behavior.

— Liberty McClead, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Sharpsburg, GA

I offer DBT therapy individually and in groups (for teens and adults). DBT is amazing to be able to approach any challenge in a mindful manner. This approach addresses the need to connect mind and body health as well as understand how to cope in a health manner when we are experiencing emotional instability. DBT also teaches us about our emotional vulnerabilities and communication skills and how to handle them in the best way to protect our relationships.

— Amanda Woodard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Centennial, CO
 

I would like you to think of DBT as a kind of deeper version of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). In using DBT, there are elements of mindfulness in the mix. These include working with you as to your awareness of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and behavioral urges.

— darrell marsh, in Los Angeles, CA
 

Do you struggle with any of the following? • Do you feel broken, flawed, like something is wrong with you because your emotions are so intense or overwhelming? • Do you struggle to have control over your emotions? • Do you feel like your emotions sometimes control your life? • Do you want to learn how to better cope with your emotions? If you answered yes to any of the about then Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is for you. DBT will teach you: • How to be mindful of your emotions and prevent them from controlling you. • How to increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotions. • How to deal more effectively with your negative emotions.

— Duane Osterlind, LMFT, CSAT, Marriage & Family Therapist in Long Beach, CA

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

— Kimberly Krueger MSW, LCSW, Counselor in Davidson, NC
 

Originally developed for people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I believe this modality has concepts that help all of us! The number one tool here is mindfulness, which can help us slow things down in order to understand what is happening in the moment, and identify what is the most healthy response.

— Sara Rotger, Marriage & Family Therapist in Montrose, CA

I have training in this method to help clients utilize coping and skills to get through many troublesome areas that life may bring about.

— LaShanna Stephens, Counselor in Macon, GA
 

I have been intensively trained by DBT founder Marsha Linehan's company BTech in DBT. I have been practicing DBT for almost 10 years with great results. I have continued my education by attending multiple DBT workshops and trainings, including one by Marsha Linehan herself!

— Jenna Rasmussen, Counselor in Portland, OR

DBT helps change lives! Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. For more in-depth info see https://behavioraltech.org/resources/faqs/dialectical-behavior-therapy-dbt/. I am a certified DBT therapist and have been leading DBT Programs since 1997 and would be happy to help.

— Kimberly Krueger MSW, LCSW, Counselor in Davidson, NC
 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an empirically validated and widely popular cognitive approach that incorporates skills training and individual therapy to help client's increase motivation, manage stress, regulate emotional experiences and decrease unwanted behaviors. The goal is to make LIFE WORTH LIVING. This approach is dialectical, helping to break all or none thinking with a balanced Middle Path. DBT Skills Training Mindfulness Acceptance Interpersonal Effectiveness Emotion Regulation Distress Tolerance

— Stacy Ruse, Licensed Professional Counselor in Longmont, CO

I also utilize RO-DBT with clients with eating disorders, OCD, and other disorders of overcontrol.

— Jessica Sprengle, Counselor in Austin, TX
 

I have extensive training and experience in DBT, having conducted groups and individual therapy for thousands of people over the years. It is also the framework I employ in dealing with the challenges of my own life. It is a highly regarded therapy for persons with borderline personality disorder. It is now recognized as effective over a wide variety of challenges. DBT is not merely a treatment strategy, it is also a world-view, a way of thinking about therapy and clients, validating their essential dignity and worth as human beings.

— John Eichenberger, Counselor in Fairport, NY

Extensive experience and training in the use of DBT skills. I use these primarily as an adjunct to the analytic work, particularly with clients who need concrete skills to help them deal with overwhelming distress early on in therapy, and I do NOT practice classically "adherent" DBT.

— Kylie Svenson, Associate Clinical Social Worker in San Francisco, CA

I integrate the importance of mindfulness and skills-development into the weekly therapy practice to address issues of emotion regulation. This is not full-fidelity DBT, but rather an integration of DBT components into an interpersonal style. If you are seeking full-fidelity DBT services, please refer to http://www.dbt-lbc.org/ for a directory of DBT therapists.

— Brittany Boney, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR
 

I also utilize RO-DBT with clients with eating disorders, OCD, and other disorders of overcontrol.

— Jessica Sprengle, Counselor in Austin, TX
 

I have studied DBT in depth for several years and even went to a DBT therapist myself in graduate school when going to therapy was a requirement to graduate. So, I have professional and personal experience with DBT and I find that it is one of the most effective tools to use with Bipolar clients.

— Catharine Pritchard Hawks, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

I am a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Intensively Trained Clinician through Behavioral Tech (an affiliate of the Linehan Institute). I helped start a brand new comprehensive DBT program from the ground up in 2015 and led a team of 8 clinicians teaching up to 5 DBT classes and serving 70 clients at a time.

— Heather McKenzie, Counselor in Raleigh, NC
 

My clients are taught new coping skills and ways to tolerate difficult emotions. Sometimes, it helps to come to a place of acceptance of the things we cannot control. Trying to control something we cannot change is never a win! I help clients even out the highs and lows, so that you become better able to manage emotions.

— Matianna Baldassari, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA

I do not provide "pure DBT" which must include a DBT skills training group in addition to individual DBT therapy to be truly DBT. However, I teach clients skills from the DBT modules to help clients be present with their lived experience and move towards valued living or "what matters."

— Rachelle Miller, Counselor in Spokane Valley, WA
 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a set of skills that involves mindfulness, working to reduce not so good thoughts and behaviors, and assertiveness. It was initially developed to work with people with severe substance dependence and personality disorders, but is now used for a wide variety of problems.

— Willard Vaughn, Licensed Professional Counselor in Hampton, VA

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