DBT 2018-04-11T13:26:29+00:00
DBT providers at The Bethesda Group

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to help clients more effectively manage their emotions, cope with stress, and improve relationships in order to enjoy a better quality of life.

An evidence-based treatment originally developed to treat people with chronic suicide ideation and self-injury behavior, over time DBT has been demonstrated to be highly effective in treating a wide range of issues, including depression, substance abuse, PTSD, and eating disorders. DBT is known as the gold standard treatment for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). DBT has been demonstrated to help clients to no longer meet criteria for BPD.

Clients are often referred to us for DBT when traditional therapy has not been effective in helping them reach their goals. Additionally, some clients are referred when therapy is working, and at the same time, the client would benefit from learning DBT skills as an adjunct to their therapy.

Structure of DBT

Clients participating in Adherent DBT meet weekly with their individual DBT therapist, participate in weekly DBT Skills Group, and may contact their individual DBT therapist for phone coaching between sessions. For adolescent DBT, parental skills training is a component of treatment. In addition, all DBT therapists meet weekly as a DBT Consultation Team. Adherent DBT contains all of the above components.

We encourage anyone who is interested in participating in DBT to ask about these components so that they can be sure they are receiving the correct treatment.

DBT-informed treatment

We recognize that clients and families may have circumstances that prevent them from being able to participate in full DBT, though they would benefit greatly from learning and implementing DBT skills training to improve their lives. Therefore, we offer DBT-informed treatment. This treatment may be individual work informed by DBT concepts or adding DBT Skills Group to non-DBT individual therapy.

Individual DBT Therapy

Individual DBT is far from “treatment as usual.” Both client and therapist engage actively in session, staying motivated, balancing strategies involving problem solving, mindfulness, acceptance, and change. Clients keep track of behaviors and emotions and work within a structured yet customized and creative approach to move forward in their lives. DBT skills are reinforced and less effective behaviors are examined closely so that positive change is more likely to occur.

DBT Skills Training

DBT Skills group is where clients learn new ways of regulating their emotions, coping effectively with distress, improving relationships, and increasing mindfulness abilities so that they can feel much more centered, more of the time.

Our Adult, Young Adult, and Adolescent groups meet for cycles of 24 weeks. It is more common than not for clients to decide to complete two or more cycles to solidify their learning. In 24 weeks, clients will learn and practice essential DBT skills from all of the modules. All DBT Groups contain modules of Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. For adolescents, there is an extra module: Walking the Middle Path for Families.

For parents and family members of adult and young adult DBT clients, we offer supportive parent sessions as well as Parent and Friends and Family Groups so that they can learn and practice more effective ways of supporting their loved one and themselves.

In Adolescent DBT, it is just as important for parents to learn the skills as it is for adolescents. Parents who learn DBT principles and skills will be better able to help themselves and their teens. The gold standard for Adolescent DBT Groups is Multifamily Skills Group. In our Multifamily Skills Groups, teens and parents participate for half of the time together, learning skills from the DBT trainers and practicing mindfulness exercises. The other half of the time, teens and parents are in separate rooms reviewing their weekly skills practice with DBT trainer.

For extenuating circumstances, we offer completely separate DBT skills groups for parents and for teens.

Our Approach

We offer DBT and DBT-informed therapy for a wide range clients. Our clinicians are dedicated to the science and art of DBT and all of our DBT team members have extensive training and experience providing this treatment. We strive to meet each client and each family where they are and so we offer both Comprehensive DBT and DBT-informed treatment such as DBT Skills Group only or DBT-informed individual therapy. See more information about our programs and group times here.

Contact us today to enroll in DBT or to reserve a space for the next group opening.