DBT uses education and therapy to help individuals manage stress and effectively cope with emotions – learning about the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This treatment is effective for individuals who struggle with mood disorders, substance use, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), eating disorders, self-mutilation (cutting), anxiety, self-harm behaviors, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and suicidal thoughts, urges, or attempts. Treatment includes individual therapy, group skills training, and crisis management.
The focus of individual sessions is to help clients process how they use core skills in their everyday lives. If significant negative behaviors occur (self-harm, substance abuse, missing treatment, etc.), the discussion centers on particular circumstances to create a more positive outcome. Therapy involves identifying the thoughts, feelings, body sensations, and behaviors leading up to the situation, the consequences of any behaviors, and the skills to use going forward.
Group Skills Training (DBT Skills Group)
This group focuses on educating individuals about core skills in order for them to live a more functional and healthy life. Participation occurs in conjunction with a client’s therapist, as attendance requires meeting with a therapist.
Core Mindfulness skills are taught in the group to help individuals live in the present moment, connect to their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations and maintain an awareness of what is happening around them. They learn three other skill modules with mindfulness “refreshers” in between:
- Distress Tolerance – Accepting themselves and their situation without making things worse.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness – Maintaining appropriate boundaries in relationships, engaging in positive interactions, and meeting their own needs and the needs of others.
- Emotion Regulation – Coping with intense negative emotions, reducing vulnerability to mood fluctuations, and feeling more positive.
Completing these three modules (which range from 5-7 weeks each) allows individuals to graduate from the DBT Skills Group. Attending each module twice is recommended.
Our Crisis Team helps clients manage crises as it occurs and follows up with providers to ensure consistent care.
DBT Consultation Team
DBT Skills Group therapists meet monthly to discuss cases and attend multidisciplinary team meetings to provide consistent care among agencies using the same DBT Skills Group curriculum.