Skip to main content

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s as a means to better treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), suffering from chronic suicidal ideation. It is a rigidly structured, evidence-based psychotherapy that combines standard cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques for emotional regulation and reality testing with concepts derived from Eastern meditative practice (e.g., awareness, mindfulness, and attentiveness to current situations and emotional experiences) to emphasize the psychosocial aspects of treatment. DBT is a multifaceted approach that is carried out in three therapeutic settings, which include: weekly individual therapy sessions, weekly DBT skills training group therapy sessions, and as-needed phone coaching. This format allows participants to focus on the four modules of DBT through engaging in an individualized and collective treatment process. Each module highlights distinct and specific skills:

  • Core mindfulness (focusing skills): The skills in this module help individuals learn the importance and value of slowing down and taking pause instead of succumbing to intense emotions and acting in destructive ways; examples include:
    • The observe skill: collect emotional data by simply observing or attending to thoughts, feelings, events, and behaviors without trying to change them.
    • The describe skill: use words to describe your internal experience, and when a thought or feeling arises, acknowledge it.
  • Distress tolerance (crisis survival skills): The skills in this module help individuals learn various techniques for handling crisis; examples include:
    • Weigh the pros and cons: noting the pros and cons can help an individual pause and take a moment to think logically about a situation and the subsequent steps.
    • TIPP skills: TIPP is an acronym for Temperature, Intense exercise, Paced breathing, and Paired muscle relaxation. TIPP skills quickly calm the limbic system and lower the state of emotional arousal. 
  • Emotion regulation (de-escalation skills): The skills taught in this module are intended to help an individual learn to decrease the intensity of their emotions, sit with, and experience strong emotions, without impulsively acting on them; examples include:
    • STOP skills: STOP is an acronym for Stop, Take a step back, Observe, and Proceed mindfully, which can help an individual avoid engaging in impulsive behavior.
    • PLEASE skills: are guidelines to remind people to prioritize physical health, because physical health is closely tied to mental health.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness (social/ relationship skills): The skills taught in this module help an individual learn to identify their own needs in a relationship and develop assertive and effective communication methods to ensure those needs are met in a healthy, nondestructive way; examples include:
    • DEAR MAN skills: DEAR MAN is an acronym for Describe the current situation, Express your opinions and feelings, Assert yourself by asking for what you want or saying no, Reinforce and reward the person by explaining the positive effects of getting what you want or need, be Mindful and keep your focus on your goals, Appear confident, effective, and competent, Negotiate and be willing to give to get.
    • FAST skills: FAST is an acronym for be Fair to yourself and the other person, no Apologies when you have not done anything wrong, Stick to your values and stand up for what you believe in, be Truthful and honest with yourself and others.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society‚Äôs elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

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.

Back to top