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Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan developed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in the late 1980s as a means to more effectively treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It has since been rendered an effective method of treatment for many other mental health conditions. It is an evidence-based psychotherapy that combines techniques from western cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psycho-educational modules, and eastern mindfulness-based practices to foster the systematic learning of new emotional coping skills. Through DBT negative and erroneous thoughts or beliefs that are often the source of emotional turmoil are gradually challenged and subsequently shifted. Psychology Today explains that the “goal of DBT is to transform negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviors into positive outcomes.” DBT focuses on teaching skills in four key areas, which are more commonly known as the four modules (core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation). The therapeutic approach consists of three different therapy settings, including weekly individual psychotherapy sessions, weekly DBT skills training group therapy sessions, and as-needed phone coaching to provide additional support between the weekly individual and group sessions. 

Woodland Hills DBT Treatment Centers

Woodland Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, California. It is an affluent suburb that borders the Santa Monica Mountains and is located in the San Fernando Valley. Living in Woodland Hills offers residents an urban-suburban mix vibe. It shares the title of one of the best places to live in California, as it is a family-friendly neighborhood that is known for its many parks, lavish green spaces, and an abundance of outdoor activities. When searching for a mental health treatment program, the geographical location of the treatment center is often one of the primary considerations. Fortunately, Woodland Hills happens to be home to a variety of DBT treatment centers.

Prior to making any commitments, it is imperative to conduct due diligence, so you can make an informed decision. Without providing a DBT treatment center with too much background information (e.g., needs, goals, preferences, etc.), consider asking the following questions: 

  1. What are the qualifications and backgrounds of your clinical staff members, group leaders, and (when applicable) residential staff members?
  2. What is the current peer group culture like among the participants? Listen for the description of the quality of peer leadership, social backgrounds, emotional maturity, age range, the severity of symptoms and overall functioning, and level and quality of peer engagement. If they are not covered, ask about these aspects specifically. 
  3. What makes your program a uniquely good match? Listen for specific factors mentioned such as detailed therapeutic actions and resources that will potentially lead to success (e.g., number of staff, including a type of peer group, specific levels of monitoring and/ or autonomy, etc.).
  4. What are the costs and fees associated with participating in your program? There is a sliding scale when it comes to the cost of DBT treatment programs, so make sure you are aware of the cost of the program. Some programs accept insurance as a form of payment, while others do not. If you select a program that accepts insurance, be sure to discuss the exact specifics of coverage with your insurance provider as it relates to your participation in the program. 

An excellent resource when beginning the search for a DBT treatment center in Woodland Hills is the DBT Clinical Resource Directory. This directory is maintained by Behavioral Tech and allows you to search for clinicians and programs that have gone through DBT training with Behavioral Tech, LLC, or the Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC) at the University of Washington.

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 to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.