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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that was developed in the late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan. It was initially developed as a treatment method for chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT is based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), but places greater emphasis on the psychosocial aspect of treatment. Psychology Today explains that the “goal of DBT is to transform negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviors into positive outcomes.” Dialectical behavior therapy helps teach individuals healthy coping mechanisms and useful techniques for managing stress, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others. The DBT process is comprised of the following components: individual psychotherapy sessions, group DBT skills sessions, and optional phone coaching, each with a distinct purpose. 

What Are DBT Skills Groups?

DBT skills groups are group therapy sessions that are comprised of other individuals experiencing similar concerns. The skills addressed in the group DBT skills sessions reflect the four main pillars of DBT, which according to Behavioral Tech, include: 

  1. Mindfulness: the practice of remaining present and fully in the moment at any given time
  2. Distress Tolerance: learning to tolerate pain in challenging situations, without changing it or escalating it
  3. Interpersonal Effectiveness: increasing one’s self-awareness through learning to effectively advocate for one’s own wants and/ or needs by saying no and/ or expressing one’s desires while maintaining self-respect and without feeling that relationships will be compromised 
  4. Emotion Regulation: learning how to shift and/ or change unwanted emotions

DBT skills groups provide individuals with the opportunity to implement the skills, tools, and coping mechanisms learned with peers in a safe and controlled environment. The work that occurs during the skills groups continues, as homework that corresponds to the DBT skills taught or visited during each DBT group session are regularly assigned. The DBT skills group sessions are held on a weekly basis.

Finding DBT Skills Groups In Los Angeles

As DBT has become more widespread in America the availability for DBT treatment and related support has grown. Therefore, finding a DBT skills group in Los Angeles can quickly turn into a rather daunting feat, as the options seem limitless. There are many online resources that can help an individual locate a DBT skills group. Below are some websites that have curated local DBT skills groups in Los Angeles, California:

Individuals should also consider consulting their primary care physician (PCP), as they are often able to provide recommendations for both DBT therapists and DBT skills groups. Another avenue would be to tap into one’s own social network and obtain word of mouth recommendations for DBT skills groups. Fortunately, there is a plethora of highly qualified and exceptional mental health providers that offer dialectical behavior therapy services in Los Angeles, California.


The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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