Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was originally designed for highly suicidal people and people diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. It has now been proven to work for behavior changes, anger management, addiction treatment, anxiety, depression and many more struggles.


A full DBT programs includes 2 hours of group and an hour of therapy a week for at least 6 months. I am currently not running a group and therefore am working from a DBT informed model instead of the full model.


In DBT the first focus is on mindfulness. The word mindfulness is all over the place anymore, which is great, but articles I have seen generally focus on meditation. Mindfulness is about more than meditation and focuses on gaining an awareness of thought, emotions, behaviors, and your surroundings in day to day life.

While mindfulness is a foundation of the practice we will also focus on the three other modules of DBT.

Emotion Regulation: Many of us have lived our lives trying to push away uncomfortable emotions, often making them worse. This module will teach skills for labeling, understanding, and feeling your emotions in a productive way. If you are struggling to have positive emotions in your life, we will also focus on incorporating more positive emotions into your day to day life.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: In this module we will discuss effective ways to ask for what you want and say no, while maintaining relationships in your life. We will also discuss barriers getting in the way of effective communication.

Distress Tolerance: Sometimes our emotions are so intense we cannot even think about using the above skills. In distress tolerance, we will discuss short term skills that will allow you to decrease your emotion to a place where skills can be used. We will also discuss acceptance.

Outside of these four modules DBT will also focus on:

Behavior modification: We will begin our treatment by discussing specific behaviors you would like to change. Throughout therapy we will track these behaviors, and walk through what lead to these behaviors. This allows you can gain a hands on prospective of where skills can be used and how you can use them.

Validation: You may have spent a large part of your life with someone telling your how to feel and how not to feel. Using the DBT therapy lens, we will discuss why your emotions are valid and important.

Homework: There will be homework at the end of every session. We will spend the first few minutes of session discussing the homework and any questions that came up.

Skills: This is a skill based therapy with little processing involved. You will leave each session with tangible skills that you can feel confident using in your day to day life. I want to make sure that you have the time you need in session to learn these skills, so I work toward limited processing type discussions.

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