More about DBT

Modeled after the DBT program developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan and her research colleagues at the University of Washington, the Center’s program includes DBT skills groups, individual therapy and telephone coaching to help participants practice their skills between sessions. Another integral part of DBT is treatment team consultation. The Center’s staff meets on a regular basis to consult and coordinate your treatment to ensure that you are getting the most from your commitment to therapy.

DBT was developed for people who struggle with severe emotional distress, chaos in relationships, and impulsivity including self-harm behaviors, addiction or other behaviors that interfere with getting the most out of traditional psychotherapy. DBT in its purest form is a collaborative effort between and among program participants and their therapists.  To further this collaboration the Center offers DBT Skills Training for Families for participants in the Center’s core program who would like to invite their loved ones to join them in learning healthier ways to relate to one another. Skills Training for Families is particularly helpful for young adults who are having difficulty developing the independence they need to transition into adulthood and self-reliance.

The underlying assumption of DBT is that the combination of an individual’s emotional vulnerability and an invalidating and/or abusive social or familial environment can create the conditions for a life of struggle.  DBT integrates concepts from cognitive behavioral, gestalt, psychodynamic and mindfulness therapies to create a rich mix of interventions within a structured treatment model. The term “dialectical” in DBT refers to finding balance between focusing on changing dysfunctional thoughts, emotions and behaviors while practicing self-acceptance in the here and now. The DBT model of treatment helps participants synthesize these seemingly opposing ideas of change and acceptance. The goal is to increase resilience and skill with managing painful emotions while taking steps towards improving your relationship with yourself, with others and creating a better quality of life.