What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD.

DBT emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living.

DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Mindfulness

The practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment.

Emotional Regulation Skills

How to change emotions that you want to change.

Distress Tolerance

How to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

How to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others.

DBT was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and it is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and eating disorders.

The goal of DBT is to help clients build a life that they experience as worth living. In DBT, the client and the therapist work together to set goals that are meaningful to the client. Often this means they work on ways to decrease harmful behaviors and replace them with effective, life-enhancing behaviors. Problematic behaviors evolve as a way to cope with a situation or attempt to solve a problem. While these behaviors might provide temporary relief or a short-term solution, they often are not effective in the long-term. DBT assumes that clients are doing the best they can, AND they need to learn new behaviors in all relevant contexts. DBT helps enhance a client’s capabilities by teaching behavioral skills, and these skills help people develop effective ways to navigate situations that arise in everyday life or manage specific challenges.

For Adults

Adult Program (ages 18+):
Offering DBT-C, a comprehensive DBT program for adults.

Learn More
For Teens

Adolescent Program (ages 13-17):
We help adolescents feeling overwhelmed by their emotions and struggling to cope with the world around them.

Learn More
For Children

Pre Adolescent Program (ages 6-12):
Offering DBT-C, a comprehensive DBT program for children ages 6 through 12.

Learn More

Contact Us

Fill out the form below to reach SoCalDBT: