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Dialectical Behavior Therapy is the gold standard evidence – based treatment specifically created for Borderline Personality Disorder. Research supports use of DBT for adolescents, trauma survivors, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and mood disorders. It is useful for clients experiencing emotional dysregulation, impulsive behaviors, self-harm (including binging / purging), addictive behaviors, and suicidal ideation / attempts.

What is DBT? 

DBT is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. These skill groups teach Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Distress Tolerance skills. Utilizing experiential activities and group processing helps clients to integrate skills into daily life. Clients are required to be receiving concurrent individual treatment. Our groups will focus on the essentials of DBT while addressing the concerns of each individual.

How do I know if DBT is right for me?

If you or a loved one has a History of intense and unstable interpersonal relationships, Impulsive behaviors such as shopping, gambling, promiscuity,Intense emotional reactions,

Black and white thinking (i.e. devaluation/idealization)

Self-harming behaviors / frequent suicidal ideation,

Substance use, Significant trauma history,or

Emotional avoidance coupled with impulsive behavior

DBT therapy might be the right fit!!

Biosocial Theory 

A. There is a biological vulnerability to emotions

1. high emotional sensitivity

2. high emotional reactivity

3. slow return to emotional baseline


B. An invalidating environment

An invalidating environment communicates that what you are feeling, thinking, or doing doesn’t make sense or is considered inaccurate or an overreaction. Environments include parents, teachers, peers, therapists, coaches, and others. Sometimes there is a “poor fit” (e.g., temperament) between the person and the environment. The invalidating environment punishes or sometimes reinforces emotional displays and contributes to the person’s suppression or escalation of emotions, and sometimes leaves the person feeling confused and unable to trust one’s own emotional experiences (self-invalidation).


Multiple Behavioral Problems

Chronic Emotional Dysregulation

Developed by Marsha Linehan

While studying the effectiveness of CBT with chronically suicidal / parasuicidal individuals in the late 70's, Dr. Linehan found current approaches ineffective. She found that a constant focus on change was experienced by clients as invalidating, which increased their shame & the frequency / intensity of problem behaviors. Clients also experienced decreased motivation for treatment when using traditional approaches, and their presentation in therapy reinforced therapists for ineffective therapy. She also found that therapists were unable to address all of the presenting problems and also provide new, adaptive skills / strategies within a traditional therapeutic setting.

By using The 4 Modules of Dialectical Behavior Therapy,

1. Mindfulness

2. Interpersonal Effectiveness

3. Distress Tolerance

4. Emotion Regulation


Dr. Linehan was able to create a new type of treatment for people who had almost given up hope.

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