top of page
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Defined.

WHAT is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? And, WHY is it so wildly popular? 

DBT is an evidenced-based approach that is life-changing because it creates sustainable and measurable changes for people who are suffering with a variety of issues.  


The D in DBT stands for the philosophy of Dialectics, where two opposing things, such as 

opposing ideas or beliefs, can be held in tandem. DBT is build on the dialectic premise of acceptance and change.

The B refers to Behavior. DBT is classified as a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which means that it focuses on changing emotions, thoughts and actions that are currently interfering with the ability to have the life that they want.

A third component is Mindfulness, based on the emerging scientific knowledge about the benefits of acceptance: “allowing” experiences rather than suppressing or avoiding them.



Who are are the people DBT helps?  (Quick answer: Anyone with a pulse). 

DBT is a fit for people aged:

  • Children (ages 6-12 years)                               

  • Adolescents (ages 12-18 years)

  • Young Adults (ages 18 - 25 years)

  • Adults (ages 25 - 60+ years)

You will benefit from DBT Group if you:

  • Want to learn to tolerate difficult or intense emotions

  • Struggle with relationships, communication, conflict, boundaries

  • Struggle with anxiety, stress and/or depression 

  • Have troubling or frequent negative thoughts or self-judgments

  • Engage in impulsive actions

  • Feel unable to relax or “numb” out in response to emotions

  • Avoid responsibilities, people, or events

  • Have children/teens who are struggling with intense emotions, anxiety, or depression - including those who are struggling with self-injury, suicide, and trauma

  • Are a parent needing guidance with managing your own emotions as well as needing supports around behavioral issues, sleep/bedtime routines, family and life transitions, communication, and limit setting

  • Are a family member or friend to someone who has extreme and intense emotions, thoughts and behaviors which negatively affect you

Format of DBT 

Individual Therapy: Individual therapy typically consists of one 50-minute session per week. Therapy complements skills training by: enhancing motivation to practice skills; targeting specific areas of ineffectiveness; assisting with the transition to more skillful behavior.

Skills Training Group: The heart and soul of DBT is skills training.

The skills training group assists clients with overcoming skills deficits through the acquisition of dozens of skills in the following four areas: mindfulness; emotion regulation; distress tolerance; interpersonal effectiveness and middle path skills.

Clients attend one 75 - 90 minute group per week for 7-14 months depending on the individual's needs.

bottom of page