Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy, first developed in the 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan, to treat patients suffering from borderline personality disorder. Since then, DBT’s use has broadened and now it is regularly employed as part of a treatment plan for people struggling with behaviors or emotions they can't control. This can include eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, and more. DBT is a skills-based approach that focuses on helping people increase their emotional and cognitive control by learning the triggers that lead to unwanted behaviors. Once triggers are identified, DBT teaches coping skills that include mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. A therapist specializing in DBT will help you to enhance your own capabilities, improve your motivation, provide support in-the-moment, and better manage your own life with problem-solving strategies. Think this approach might work for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s DBT specialists today.

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DBT is a therapy that believes you can both be doing the best you can given your current circumstances and be empowered to do better next time. While I don't offer full protocol DBT, I've found DBT skills to be empowering in a myriad of life circumstances including managing a chronic health condition. DBT skills fall under the topics of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

— Rachel McEvoy, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

DBT is a highly effective form of therapy that treats many different issues. In DBT you will learn two seemingly different and opposite strategies: acceptance and change. You will learn to accept certain experiences, emotions, as well as accept that our behaviors are reactions, thus valid and in order to make positive changes requires that we manage our emotions in order to move forward. It is then when we find deeper meaning through a "spiritual" existence.

— Monica Pina, Licensed Professional Counselor in Brownsville, TX

Do you struggle with any of the following? • Do you feel broken, flawed, like something is wrong with you because your emotions are so intense or overwhelming? • Do you struggle to have control over your emotions? • Do you feel like your emotions sometimes control your life? • Do you want to learn how to better cope with your emotions? If you answered yes to any of the about then Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is for you. DBT will teach you: • How to be mindful of your emotions and prevent them from controlling you. • How to increase positive emotions and decrease negative emotions. • How to deal more effectively with your negative emotions.

— Duane Osterlind, LMFT, CSAT, Marriage & Family Therapist in Long Beach, CA

DBT is a therapy specially designed to help us deal with our emotions in an effective way, learn how to accept what we cannot control, and focus on achieving our goals. In primarily being a DBT therapist, I help clients learn new skills to help manage relationships, situations and distress as they occur, and to identify how to best live our life the way we want to.

— Ethan Sapienza, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Dialectical Behavior Therapy teaches skills in four specific areas. These are practical skills for everyday use that will help you manage your emotions, behaviors, and stressors more effectively. These skill areas include Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, & Interpersonal Effectiveness. I am passionate about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and proud to be intensively trained in this treatment. You can always expect high-quality DBT treatment delivered with enthusiasm & expertise.

— Jessica Aron, Clinical Psychologist in WHITE PLAINS, NY

As an individual practicing therapist, I use DBT as a framework to help people feeling distress to manage their lives more effectively through various emotional regulation skills. DBT dovetails well with Occupational Therapy in its strong orientation towards skills and training to manage difficult times.

— Vanessa Gorelkin, Occupational Therapist in Scottsdale, AZ

Sometimes we all encounter situations that leaves us broken and helpless to where life begins to lose meaning. Radical acceptance and mindfulness through DBT allows you to accept situations as is knowing you have no control over them. This allows individuals to learn the process of letting go of past hurts and learning to live in the moment with a focus on what is going well in their lives at this point.

— Lauretta Akpoyoware, Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, TX

Trained in providing DBT to teach skills that will help improve relationships and manage strong emotions.

— Adam Holman, Mental Health Counselor in Tempe, AZ

Why ruminate when you can free your mind and soul to be in the moment? Can you tell I have a thing for mindfulness. DBT is where mindfulness and CBT meet. The main goals of DBT are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with self and others.

— Sabrina Samedi, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Westlake Village, CA

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. I help people learn these skills in order to improve their lives.

— Karl Reichert, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Vancouver, WA

Throughout my career, DBT has been a useful technique utilized within crisis intervention and treatment. I specialize in incorporating DBT skills, such as mindfulness and emotional regulation, to reduce self-destructive thoughts and behaviors. DBT has been an essential treatment orientation with my experience as a clinician for at risk teens over the years. Within my practice, DBT skills continually enhance client resilience by increasing stress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.

— Ishanie Sanchez, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Staten Island, NY

Do you struggle with intense mood swings, struggle with making and keeping relationships, feel impulsive, seeming to self sabotage. Odds are these issues run deep and that is why as a Certified Dialectical Behavioral Therapist, this is a modality of therapy that I use often in nearly all my therapy sessions. This style allows for me to be flexible and meet people where they are at. DBT aligns with my values of continuing to improve on our ability to be mindful. Responding vs reacting!

— Elisa Blair, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

Do you sometimes wonder why life looks so easy for others, but you just feel overwhelmed most of the time. DBT is SO helpful! It's all about finding skills that you can do at school/work, home or anywhere that you need them to feel in control & capable of doing hard things. If you aren't the touchy-feely type or you aren't quite ready to go deep and heal your trauma, DBT can be a great option. It is practical, action-oriented, and based on research so you know the skills will work.

— Katy Harmon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Austin, TX

DBT is an integrative approach that borrows from several other modalities. I’m certified DBT therapist and have been using it with my clients successfully for long time. I have written about this approach several articles, which made me appreciate more. It usually works with many different individuals or at least some parts of it. Distress tolerance and emotional regulation for example we all can benefit from. Besides, it keeps the essential parts of therapy in mind. It’s a lot to be said here.

— Dr. Amr Kireem, Clinical Psychologist in Rolling Meadows, IL

DBT is often touted as the treatment of choice for personality disorders; however, it is tremendously helpful for many issues. I do not use full model DBT but teach many of the skills and use chaining as a tool to delve deeper into problem behaviors. It amazes me what insights and transformations come from that intervention. The DBT approach of authenticity has given me permission to challenge clients in supportive ways that lead to growth more quickly than with other modalities.

— Joanna Morse, Psychologist in Louisville, KY

I am intensively trained in DBT and currently facilitate Adult and Teen/Parent skills training groups. I completed my training through Behavioral Tech.

— Robin Friedman, Clinical Social Worker in White Plains, NY

Through understanding how our body and mind are connected we learn to become aware of our coping behaviors. DBT helps us become more aware of our behaviors and our mind to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate our emotions and improve our relationships with others.

— Trish McKenna, Therapist in St. Louis Park, MN