Who benefits from DBT?

While DBT was initially developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to treat chronically suicidal individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it has evolved into a treatment for individuals with other disorders as well.  Although many people who participate in DBT have BPD as a primary diagnosis, this is not a requirement for participation in the DBT Counseling Center’s program. DBT is beneficial for most behavioral health disorders that involve moderate to severe emotion dysregulation. This includes depression and/or anxiety particularly if these disorders are associated with suicidal thoughts, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, raging, addiction and/or eating disorders.  A thorough assessment is the first step for anyone interested in participating in the Center’s program to determine if DBT is right for you.


What is the meaning of “dialectical” in DBT?

The term “dialectical” in DBT refers to balancing self-acceptance in the here and now with practicing ways to change dysfunctional thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Dialectic is a method for holding two different points of view, like acceptance and change, while working towards synthesis. In DBT, one holds acceptance through mindfulness practice which teaches us to observe and accept what is in the moment. (It is important to note that acceptance does not mean agreement.) As thoughts, emotions and behaviors are identified and validated for what they are, thoughts, emotions and behavior, the process of change and gradual transformation can occur. Doing something different no longer appears impossible if it is linked to validation.  At the root of a tremendous amount of suffering is an invalidating environment. This is the nature of a childhood environment that includes physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse. DBT seeks to correct the skill deficit that is the result of an abusive or otherwise invalidating environment.


How long is the program?

The DBT Counseling Center of Sacramento’s program is modeled after the program founded by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., who requires her clients to commit to one year of treatment.  We recommend participants attend 48 group classes in conjunction with one year of individual therapy. In our experience, if you need an intensive program like DBT it will take a year to fully assimilate your new skills into your daily life. After completing a year of treatment, clients are expected to test their new skills therapist-free for at least six months.  After the six months of independence, most clients decide not to return to weekly therapy but can if they wish.


How much does it cost and when do I pay?

     Cost for the recommended 48 classes of Skills Group is $1,920

     Cost for 48 individual sessions (approximate number needed) is  $4,800

          Total cost for one year program is  $6,720

Individual sessions (50min) cost $100 and the fee is due at the beginning of each session

Skills Classes cost $40 each and are paid in advance installments:

     Fee for first 12 sessions is $480 due before first class

     Fee for next 4 sessions and the last 4 sessions is $320  due at the end of 12th class

          (like first and last month’s rent on an apartment)

     On the 17th session and every four classes thereafter you will pay $160

          (7 x $160 = $1,120 to complete 48 classes)

If you decide to terminate treatment before you have completed the 48 classes you must notify your group leader at least four weeks prior to quitting or you will forfeit the $160 for your last four weeks.

Successful groups require committed participants.  If you cannot attend 12 consecutive Wednesdays, wait until you can before starting your Skills Group.  Please wait until you are committed to sign up because fees are nonrefundable.

DBT Skills Training for Families is $150 per session (90 min) due at the beginning of each session. Number of sessions needed will be decided on a case by case basis.


Can I use insurance?

We do not bill insurance companies for the Skills Groups but we can provide you with a receipt for you to request reimbursement. Many insurance companies recognize the proven benefits of DBT and will be willing to work with you so you can get the treatment that you need.

For individual and family sessions we accept cash, check, credit card and some insurance including Magellan.


Why does DBT therapy require a yearlong commitment of your time and money?

Like playing a musical instrument, DBT skills are easy to explain but difficult to do well. It takes repetition and practice. If you have not had success practicing your skills within one year, doing more is not likely to help. On the other hand, 48 weeks will give you a solid foundation from which you can continue your practice for the rest of your life. We want you to go out into the world, practice your skills and live your life with confidence that you will be able to succeed. Many clients worry about being cut free from their DBT program but are amazed at how well it works. After six months, former DBT clients have come back periodically for a “tune-up” but do not need weekly sessions.