Dialectical Behavior Therapy – DBT
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an innovative treatment method developed specifically to treat challenging clients in a way that preserves the morale of the therapist and the client. Research findings suggest that DBT is successful in reducing acting-out behavior, self injury, and inpatient treatment time.
While it has been successful in treating adults, we are using it with the youth served by The Center. In fact, we were a pioneer in developing DBT therapy specifically for adolescents. And it’s working. We’re also pleased to serve as a model for other treatment programs looking to employ the practices of DBT for their adolescent clients.
DBT is based on bio-social theory, which indicates that certain severe emotional disorders are a consequence of an emotionally vulnerable individual growing up in certain environmental circumstances that are “invalidating.”
The treatment is comprised of coaching, as well as individual and group therapy. Coaching is done throughout the entire treatment process to help clients apply what they learn to daily, real-world situations. The therapy focuses on:
Group Skills Training
- Core Mindfulness
- Interpersonal Effectiveness
- Emotion Modulation
- Distress Tolerance
Self Esteem Building Methods
Middle Path Skills
Therapy is structured in stages, and a hierarchy of targets is defined at each stage. The techniques used in DBT are extensive and varied, addressing essentially every aspect of therapy.
The techniques also are underpinned by a philosophy that recommends a balanced, flexible and systematic approach. Techniques for achieving change are balanced by techniques of acceptance; problem solving is surrounded by validation; confrontation is balanced by understanding. Clients are assisted in understanding their problem behaviors and in dealing with situations more effectively.