Have you tried “traditional” counseling multiple times and it just doesn’t seem to work?  Do you feel you need something intense to address how you are struggling?  Have you been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder or had it suggested to you that you may suffer from this diagnosis?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, may be right for you.

DBT is a skills based therapy designed to improve your ability to regulate emotions and improve your relationships. DBT is highly effective and has accumulated substantial evidence to support this.  DBT was developed in the late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan to treat people with borderline personality disorder  and people with chronic suicidal thoughts.  Since it burst onto the therapy scene, DBT has been a great success, and has brought hope to both clients and therapists alike.  It has a much different structure and feel than what people have come to expect from a therapy session.  It utilizes individual therapy and psychoeducation sessions, both done on a weekly basis.  The individual session for DBT is structured in a way that targets specific behaviors and is guided by the diary card that the client will fill out every week.  The psychoeducation portion of the treatment can be done individually or as a group.  In these classes clients learn skills from the four modules: Core Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

For all kinds of information on DBT and to read some testimonials on how it’s helped, check out The Linehan Institute. Psychology Today also has a short, but informative article here.

DBT influences all of my work as a therapist. Research has now shown that teaching the skills offered by DBT can lead to measurable improvements for those struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.  I have experienced the tremendous usefulness of these skills professionally as well as personally.  Quite honestly, I believe the skills part of this treatment should be a required high school course.