DBT is a compassionate, evidence-based treatment for individuals who have significant difficulty regulating emotions and behaviors.
CBC offers DBT programs for both adolescents and adults. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a compassionate, evidence-based type of cognitive behavioral treatment for individuals who have significant difficulty regulating emotions and behaviors. Developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., DBT was first introduced in 1991 as a treatment for suicidal and self-injurious individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Individuals with BPD are extremely sensitive and reactive to their emotions which often lead to actions such as self-injury, angry outbursts, or abruptly ending important relationships. Although these actions temporarily reduce emotional pain they often wind up causing other problems that can make life even more difficult. More than 10 different research studies conducted around the world have demonstrated that DBT is an effective treatment for multi-problem individuals. Both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association currently consider DBT to be a first-line treatment for BPD.
As a result of DBT’s success in treating adults with BPD, Dr. Alec Miller and his colleagues have spent the past 12 years researching and adapting DBT for suicidal and self-injurious multi-problem adolescents and their families. DBT has also been modified so that it can be used with other psychological problems such as eating disorders, substance use, and anger management.
DBT targets the issues that cause distress and teaches skills to deal with them.
What is DBT in a nutshell? DBT strategically blends behavior therapy (change orientation) with validation (acceptance orientation). DBT teaches all of us that we are doing the best we can AND at the same time we need to learn alternative ways to manage our problems more effectively. Learning how to think and act dialectically helps individuals achieve a more balanced lifestyle which ultimately helps people move toward having a life that feels more meaningful and worth living. Distress, emotional pain, interpersonal difficulties, and behavioral problems such as over-eating, under-eating, using substances, self-injuring, losing emotional and behavioral control, socially withdrawing, can make it incredibly difficult to function normally and lead a life that feels meaningful and worthwhile. DBT targets the issues that cause distress and teaches skills to deal with them without having to resort to maladaptive behaviors.
At CBC, each client participates in three modalities of treatment: 1) individual therapy (one to two times per week for 45-minute sessions), 2) skills training groups (once weekly for 2 hours), and 3) telephone coaching, as needed. While clients learn new skills in group each week in order to move closer to their life goals, individual therapy focuses on helping the people apply those skills to their daily experiences. Individuals are also encouraged to call their individual therapists for skills coaching when urges arise to engage in maladaptive behaviors.
If an individual already has an individual DBT therapist in the community, the client may be eligible to participate in CBC’s skills training group ONLY. Please feel free to discuss this option when you call.
For further information about DBT, please call us at 914.381.3349. We also recommend visiting www.behavioraltech.org for more information about DBT.