What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is proven in clinical research to help people with the following problems:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Suicidal Adolescents
  • Substance abuse/Implusive behaviors (i.e., shoplifting, high risk sex, etc.)
  • Suicidal Behavior/Self-Injurious Behavior
  • Intense emotions (i.e. anger, sadness, fear)
  • Difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Depression among older adults

DBT also is better than standard treatments for BPD at keeping people out of the emergency room and the hospital. In fact, DBT is the most well-established psychological treatment for problems related to BPD.

DBT balances acceptance and change. Cognitive Behavioral change strategies are blended with Eastern practices including mindfulness and meditation.

Being a participant in DBT involves:

  1. Several sessions of assessment and “pre-treatment” where both the therapist and person receiving treatment agree on the goals of the treatment and agree to do DBT together.
  2. Weekly individual therapy; Weekly group skills training which teaches:
    • mindfulness skills,
    • emotion regulation skills
    • interpersonal effectiveness skills
    • tolerating emotional distress skills
  3. In between session skills coaching to help participants learn to use their skills in the situations where they need them most, not just in the office.
  4. In addition, DBT therapists meet weekly to discuss cases, and to provide the supervision, training, and support required to be effective therapists.

Currently, our programs in Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Orange County (Newport Beach) and San Diego are accepting adults for DBT treatment. We have adult programs in all locations, and adolescent programs in Orange County and Los Angeles.

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