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 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 South Burlington, VT

DBT is an evidenced-based treatment that combines cognitive behavioral interventions with acceptance and mindfulness methods. Through DBT I am able to teach you various skills to manage distressful situations, regulate your emotions, and improve/maintain your relationships. Through my practice, I have found that DBT can be effective for those who have difficulty managing thoughts, feelings, and urges.

— Paula Muro, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Los Angeles, CA

Aims to develop skills in the following 4 areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Excellent approach for those who feel things very deeply and have a tendency to be highly reactive.

— Happy Apple Center for Anxiety, Depression, & Couples, Psychotherapist in New York, NY

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) teaches skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. Mindfulness focuses on improving an individual's ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotion regulation, fourth interpersonal skill building.

— Elizabeth Grady, Licensed Professional Counselor in Raleigh, NC

A lot of my work is informed by DBT and I love it's emphasis on mindfulness and integrating opposites.

— Kori Loewe, Counselor in Detroit, MI

Although I do not offer a full DBT program I am very familar with DBT and RO-DBT and find that these concepts easily support EMDR work.

— Jennifer Roach, Counselor in Everett, WA

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

I have received foundational training in DBT. I have experience working as a Residential Counselor at Evolve Treatment, a residential facility which provides comprehensive DBT to adolescents, and in my current role as a therapist in the Suzanne Wallach Psychotherapy Group, I provide complete DBT treatment. I also practice individual DBT-informed therapy, making the many mindfulness-based principles and skills available to clients as resources.

— Lincoln Madley, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

I have been providing DBT to clients for 3 1/2 years. I have provided individual therapy as well as facilitated groups.

— Liz Imparato, Licensed Professional Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

Specialized Training. Certificate from Evergreen Certification Institute since 2018.

— Ashley Strang, Psychologist in Grand Rapids, MI

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 extensive experience working with clients struggling with trauma, mood disorders (depression, anxiety, Bipolar disorders), thinking, and personality disorders. I incorporate DBT into my practice to assist clt in learning self-regulation, coping, and healthier thinking and decision making methods.

— Kelsi Amerine, Psychotherapist in Chillicothe, OH

Dialectical behavior therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy that began with efforts to treat borderline personality disorder. There is evidence that DBT can be useful in treating mood disorders, suicidal ideation, and for change in behavioral patterns such as self-harm, and substance abuse.

— Takiyah Small, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Akron, OH

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT for short, is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. The main goals of DBT are to teach people how to live in the moment, cope in healthy ways with stress, manage emotions productively, and have healthy relationships. I've been using DBT in my practice since 2012, and have found in combination with traditional CBT, it becomes even more effective in supporting clients in the process of change.

— Kelly Lynch, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Plantsville, CT

I have extensive training in dialectical behavior therapy. I have facilitated DBT groups to various populations in an outpatient setting since beginning my careers. I have also completed the Contextual Behavior Therapy Fellowship program at the University of Chicago in addition to multiple continuing education seminars.

— Michael Krusinsky, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

DBT is all about how to be effective and skillful in any given moment. I was told a number of times that "DBT is CBT plus mindfulness". The ability to be aware of our own behaviors and how they impact our environment is so powerful. I love how direct and problem-solving oriented DBT is.

— Jaime Larson, Clinical Psychologist

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

The stated purpose of DBT is to help a person create a life worth living. DBT utilizes skills training as well as specific therapy to help you do this. I have gotten more than 50 hours of training in DBT and have found it incredibly helpful to individuals who are struggling with emotions, relationships, being present, and dealing with tough stuff. I personally utilize every DBT skill that I teach my clients.

— Jennifer Gerlach, Therapist in Swansea, IL

DBT skills training uses mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance skills training to help people improve their coping skills and ability to communicate effectively with others. I have completed trainings in DBT and have experience with this modality.

— Kristen Hornung, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Encinitas, CA

DBT was developed specifically to treat people with emotional sensitivity, extreme emotions, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and addictions. If you are someone who has really big emotions, DBT will change your life. If you've ever been accused of being "over-sensitive" "extra" or a "drama queen" emotional regulation will make your daily life much easier.

— Stacey Aldridge, Clinical Social Worker in Canton, MS

I am trained and certified in DBT. I am your coach to help you live the life you love. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment, which focuses on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion management and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT has proven successful with clients experiencing relationship issues, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders. DBT brings change by radical acceptance. DBT provides concrete skills that can be used daily to make positive changes.

— Amita Khare, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Gold River, CA

In 2013, I had the privilege of working in a facility that fully integrated DBT into it's treatment model with the support of the University of Washington and their research team. I was given the opportunity to learn from doctoral students under Dr. Marsha Linehan about how to impalement the DBT model and conduct skills training groups. Since then, I have developed and provided DBT skills training groups and learned how to regularly use these skills in my practice.

— Shayne Plantz, Counselor