What Is DBT
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a skill-building therapeutic approach developed in the 1970s by Marsha Linehan, PhD. Although DBT was originally developed for the treatment of women with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it has proven effective for a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
DBT is an evidence-based treatment modality, meaning it has been heavily researched in numerous clinical trials. Research shows that, through DBT therapy and DBT skills groups, you can learn healthy coping skills that can help you to make a lasting recovery from your psychiatric disorder. The most important goal of DBT is to help you lead a “life worth living.”
Dialectical Behavior Therapy involves three main components: individual DBT therapy sessions, DBT skills groups, and phone coaching. Your individual DBT therapist is usually in charge of treatment and takes the lead on a DBT team. During treatment, you are encouraged to engage in phone coaching sessions with your therapist, especially if you are contemplating self-harmful behavior.
DBT is a systematic therapy that organizes treatment into stages and goals, or targets. The goals of the first stage of DBT focus on decreasing life-threatening behaviors, reducing behaviors that may cause you to drop out of therapy, decreasing behaviors that affect your quality of life, and building effective coping skills.
In stages two, three, and four, the focus of DBT is on experiencing emotions more fully, effectively solving ordinary life problems, and moving toward a feeling of completeness.
DBT Skills and Groups
The cornerstone of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is DBT skills. These skills are taught in DBT groups and focus on improving behavioral, emotional, and cognitive instability. DBT groups focus on the development of the following four skills:
- Mindfulness meditation: This DBT skill will help you live in the present and more fully experience your senses. Mindfulness will help you focus your mind and increase attentiveness.
- Interpersonal effectiveness: Interpersonal effectiveness skills teach strategies to help you ask for what you need, better cope with interpersonal conflict, and improve the overall quality of your social and family relationships.
- Emotion regulation: This DBT skill will help you to better identify your emotions, reduce emotional reactivity, improve emotional stability, and better manage your emotional health.
- Distress tolerance: Distress tolerance skills will help you to improve impulse control and better tolerate stressful experiences.
DBT Treatment at the DBT Center of Southern California
The DBT Center of Southern California in Los Angeles is a leading treatment center specializing in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). We also provide DBT treatment for depression, anxiety disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and eating disorders.
Clients at our DBT center receive comprehensive DBT therapy, which includes individual DBT therapy sessions, DBT skills training groups, and phone coaching. Based on your individual needs, you may also receive psychiatric services and a variety of small specialized groups. Our team of DBT therapists has received intensive training from Behavioral Tech, Marsha Linehan’s training institute, or UCLA Harbor Hospital’s DBT training program.
The DBT Center of Southern California is the only treatment center on the West Coast that offers a full continuum of DBT treatment programs, including residential DBT, day treatment DBT, and outpatient DBT programs, to help you achieve lasting recovery.
Clients may enter treatment at the appropriate level of care and then transition based on their needs. This enables clients to practice their DBT skills in real-life settings. Clients who stay longer are helped to enter educational and college settings, seek employment or volunteer opportunities, and receive vocational testing.
If you, or a loved one, are struggling with an issue and need Dialectical Behavior Therapy, please call our toll-free number at (866) 883-6394 to ask questions and receive a free assessment.