Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)


DBT is a comprehensive evidence-based treatment that was designed and researched to treat adolescents and adults with a range of problem behaviors, typically related to difficulty regulating emotions.  With respect to suicidal and/or self-harm behavior, DBT has the strongest research support of any intervention out there.  DBT has also proven to be effective in treating addictive and eating disordered behaviors, and has recently been adapted and researched for treating children with difficulty regulating their emotions.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was originally created by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP as a treatment model for those with borderline personality disorder (BPD).  CDBS is currently using DBT to help people (adults, adolescents and families) who are struggling with a wide variety of problems including depression, anxiety, trauma, emotion dysregulation, and bipolar disorder.  The common factor in all of these problems is overwhelming emotions and difficulty figuring out how to manage them. 

DBT emphasizes the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance.  

* Mindfulness practice involves increasing self-awareness by learning to focus on one’s experience of the present moment.
* Emotion regulation will help you identify and name your feelings; and then learn how to tolerate them without becoming overwhelmed.
* Interpersonal effectiveness module will give you tools to improve your relationships; ask for what you want in an effective way, say “no”, and establish appropriate boundaries in a respectful and healthy way.  
* Distress tolerance will help you distract from painful situations when you can’t cope with them, and then relax and soothe yourself.