Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a mental health treatment model that was designed in the late 1980s by Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan, as a means to more effectively treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT 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. Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on teaching skills in four primary areas, which are known as the four modules of DBT. It is comprised of three distinct therapeutic settings, which include: weekly individual psychotherapy sessions, weekly DBT skills training group therapy sessions, and as-needed phone coaching.
Weekly individual therapy sessions provide an individual and his or her clinician with the opportunity to co-create behavior plans that incorporate long- and short-term goals to improve self-worth, establish self-compassion, acceptance, and cultivate a positive self-identity. In DBT skills training group therapy sessions the clinician running the session will follow the lessons provided in the DBT curriculum, teach the skills, and facilitate activities to allow the participants to practice using the DBT skills learned. DBT skills training group therapy sessions offer participants an emotionally safe environment to begin to implement the DBT skills alongside others working on similar issues. Group members are encouraged to share their experiences and provide mutual support, which can be invaluable to the therapeutic process. Phone coaching provides participants with access to twenty-four-hour support between sessions should crisis arise. The multifaceted approach helps individuals learn, apply, and master the DBT skills.
DBT relies on supportive resources, including handouts, worksheets, and workbooks to help reinforce the skills taught during DBT skills training group therapy sessions. There are certain DBT training handouts that directly relate to specific topics covered in each session. As such, there are a variety of DBT handouts that are assigned at different times throughout the program, some of which can be accessed without formally participating in DBT.
Supplemental DBT Resources
There is a plethora of DBT-specific supportive resources available, including a variety of DBT workbooks that have been published. Some of the most widely known and commonly used DBT workbooks include:
- DBT® Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition by Marsha M. Linehan PhD ABPP, 2014, The Guilford Press, New York
- This resource includes over 225 user-friendly worksheets and handouts for individuals learning DBT skills.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, & Distress Tolerance by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley, 2007, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland: CA
- This resource provides practical exercises to effectively practice and build on the four key DBT areas (e.g., core mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness).
- The High Conflict Couple: A Dialectical Behavior Therapy Guide to Finding Peace, Intimacy and Validation by Alan E. Fruzzetti, Ph.D., 2006, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland: CA
- This book adapts the various techniques of DBT into applicable skills for de-escalating heightened emotions that can arise in relationships.
- Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control by Scott E. Spradlin, 2003, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland: CA
- This book is comprised of worksheets, exercises, and assessments intended to teach individuals how to pay attention to rising emotions, identify obstacles that interfere with one’s ability to effectively regulate emotions, and how to overcome those obstacles.
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’s 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.