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What is DBT?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is designed to help people with longstanding or complex difficulties with mood and anxiety, which restricts living an active and satisfying life. DBT is an effective treatment program for individuals with self-destructive behaviors (e.g. overdosing, anger outbursts and self-harm), borderline personality disorder and serious difficulties dealing with emotions, anger control, impulsive acting out behaviors, relationship conflicts, fragile self-esteem and a chronic sense of emptiness.
Who Can Receive DBT?
DBT was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. DBT is now used to treat many different mental health concerns, as almost everyone can benefit from learning the behaviour modification techniques taught through this program.
No medical referral required. Client can self-refer.
1. One 30-minute assessment session to determine suitability for the client to join the program.
2. One 1-hour orientation session after the assessment session to ensure the client has a clear understanding of the DBT program to increase success. The orientation session includes communicating assessment findings and treatment formulation, the DBT perspective on emotional and behavioral dysregulation and understanding the treatment plan. In addition, we will discuss using daily diary cards, weekly homework assignments, and a commitment contract to participate and complete the DBT program. For clients who are unable to make the needed commitment for the time and work involved in the DBT program for any reason, another treatment plan will be recommended.
Weekly 1-hour individual psychotherapy sessions and a weekly 2-hour skills training group. Individual DBT sessions focus on an individual’s current problem solving behavior. Treating self-injury and suicidal behaviors takes first priority, followed by treating behaviors which interfere with the therapy process. The sessions focus on decreasing and dealing with post-traumatic stress responses, enhancing one’s self-respect and self image, and improving primary coping and relationship skills.
DBT skills training group consist of four modules that are designed to specifically assist individuals in better managing behavioral, emotional and cognitive instability. Their intent is to help people experiencing problems with anger, episodic depression, irritability, anxiety, intense or chaotic relationships, impulsivity, stress and feelings of emptiness. New skills are presented each week and homework is assigned each week for practice between sessions. Phone coaching is also offered on an as-needed basis.