What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy- also referred to as DBT- is a type of therapy that trained psychotherapist use to help their clients learn how to become more mindful, tolerate distressing feelings and situations, regulate or manage their emotions, and become effective in their relationships. A client struggling with problems such as major depression, bipolar, self injurious and impulsive behaviors, PTSD or severe anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, or suicidal thoughts may be referred to our DBT skills group. Participants must be willing to see a therapist for individual sessions while participating in a DBT skills group.

The goal of DBT is to help clients build for themselves a life worth living and we help clients figure out what a life worth living would look like for them. We strive to help our clients using compassion and empathy. As clients work on identifying how their lives are to become worth getting out of bed for, we provide a safe and accepting environment in which clients can feel comfortable enough to really learn about themselves and how to build a life worth living.

The first skill focused on in group is the skill of Mindfulness. In skills group among other mindful practices, you learn about Emotion Mind, Reasonable Mind, and Wise Mind and how to access Wise Mind by intentionally noticing, slowing down and consulting with your Wise Mind. The “What” and “How” skills of mindfulness teach what to do and how to be mindful to achieve a very present way of doing your life. Your Wise Mind is informed by both Emotion and Reasonable Mind.

The next skill focused on is the skill of Distress Tolerance. These skills help you learn what to do to get through a crisis without making it worse. Rather than use impulsive, emotionally-driven behavior, effective skills are taught so you have better options for getting to the other side of a crisis without further harm to yourself or those involved. Distress Tolerance skills like “Wise Mind Distracts” and “Improve the Moment” are meant to be short-term, in the moment skills. DBT offers many strategies to help broaden your capacity for tolerance.

Emotion Regulation is the next skill focused on and it is helpful for learning to get and remain in control of your emotions. You learn that your emotions are actually working for you, that some emotions don’t fit the facts, and that you have the ability to change your emotions. Emotion Regulation teaches you how. Key concepts are willingness, decreasing emotional suffering, and identifying myths about emotions.

Finally, Interpersonal Effectiveness is the skill that teaches you how to figure out what you really want in your relationships and what to do to get it. Myths that sabotage your effectiveness in relationships are explored and you learn to act dialectally. If you struggle with loneliness, frustration and/or anger within a significant relationship or you struggle with making and maintaining friendships, the skill of interpersonal effectiveness could be helpful to you.

DBT skills group are open and are held weekly. If you are a client of Let It Rain Psychotherapy you can pay the fees over two payments and the cost is $60 per 90 minute group session. Each DBT participant must meet with and be assessed by the DBT group therapist before attending groups. For more information call Sarah: 214-629-5245.