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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT Informed) 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. DBT can be provided individually and in a group setting to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT emphasizes these four skill modules:


The practice of being aware and present in this moment.

Interpersonal Effectivenes

How to change fluctuations in mood.

Emotion Regulation

How to change fluctuations in mood.

Distress Tolerance

How to tolerate pain in difficult or crisis situations.

DBT was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and it is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and eating disorders.

The goal of DBT is to help clients build a life that they experience as worth living. In DBT, the client and the therapist work together to set goals that are meaningful to the client. Often this means they work on ways to decrease harmful behaviors and replace them with effective, life-enhancing behaviors. Problematic behaviors evolve as a way to cope with a situation or attempt to solve a problem. While these behaviors might provide temporary relief or a short-term solution, they often are not effective in the long-term. DBT assumes that clients are doing they best they can, AND they need to learn new behaviors in all relevant contexts. DBT helps enhance a client’s capabilities by teaching behavioral skills, and these skills help people develop effective ways to navigate situations that arise in everyday life or manage specific challenges.

DBT Has Been Shown in Clinical Studies to Effectively Treat:

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Substance use disorder (SUD)

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Major depression, including treatment-resistant depression (TRD)

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Suicidal and self-harming behavior

  • Pre-adolescent children with severe emotional and behavioral dysregulation

  • Binge eating disorder (BED)

  • Bulimia nervosa

  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)

  • Histrionic personality disorder (HPD)

  • Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

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