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Beautiful Landscape

dialectical behavior therapy

What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapy for children, adolescents, families, and adults, to treat emotion dysregulation. Dialectics are the idea that two opposing views can be true at the same time (for example: people are doing the best they can, and, need to do better in order to reach their goals!). DBT helps individuals to learn to control their emotions and work towards "building a life worth living," according to DBT's creator, Marsha Linehan. DBT is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. It is effective in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, mood disorders, trauma, and other conditions. Additional information about DBT can be found here.

What does DBT look like?

DBT is an intensive therapy including 4 modalities:

Individual Therapy

A space to apply skills to reach your personal goals. We'll set an agenda to make sure that we target the priorities that we've agreed upon ahead of time. We'll talk about some of the behaviors needed to build your life worth living, what's getting in the way, and make a game plan for skills you'll use in the upcoming week.

Skills Training

Skills are generally taught in a weekly group format and cover five areas: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and walking the middle path. While I do not currently provide skills groups, I collaborate with many other clinicians who do.

Phone Coaching

Call me outside of session for help using skills in crises.

Consultation Team

DBT therapists meet weekly for "therapy for the therapist." This is where I get support from other therapists to incorporate DBT principles into my own life, so I can be the best possible therapist for you!

If your treatment does not include these 4 modalities, it is not adherent DBT!
The best way to ensure that you are receiving adherent DBT is to find a therapist who is a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™. Additional information about certification can be found here.

What will I learn in DBT?


Awareness of thoughts and emotions, nonjudgmental thinking, and experience life fully in the present moment (based on principles of Zen Buddhism)

Distress Tolerance

Manage crisis moments (without making the situation worse), and accept reality as it is

Emotion Regulation

Daily practices to increase and maintain a balanced emotional baseline


Interpersonal Effectiveness

Prioritize goals in relationships, build/maintain relationships, ask for what you want (or say no) effectively, maintain self-respect

Walking the Middle Path

Flexible thinking and behavioral strategies to increase effective behavior patterns (as well as decrease family conflict for teens/parents)

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