Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

We are in a time of uncertainty and evolving change. I am offering video therapy or teletherapy via HIPPA approved software, including Zoom. Video platforms are easy to access and utilize —I email you a link and you can click on it at the time of our session.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic approach developed by Marsha Linehan. DBT blends behavioral problem solving with acceptance-based strategies, and an emphasis on dialectical processes. DBT was originally developed for acutely suicidal individuals over 20 years ago. An increasing number of studies now demonstrate that DBT is a promising intervention for a variety of issues including: binge eating disorder, bipolar disorder, emotional instability, families dealing with children with emotional instability, families of suicidal individuals, victims of domestic abuse and depression.

DBT helps individuals cope with:

  • impulsive behavior
  • Cutting behavior
  • feelings of emptiness
  • fear of being alone/abandonment
  • anger outbursts
  • suicidal behavior
  • self-harm behavior
  • intense emotional instability
  • emotional communication
  • knowing what you feel when you feel it
  • relationship difficulties (maintaining healthy relationships/ending destructive ones)

This highly structured approach gives clients concrete skills around mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. It involves a considerable amount of both validation as well as active problem solving. DBT not only helps with reducing symptoms but in addition, research shows that those in DBT develop significantly greater self-affirmation, self-love, self-protection, as well as less self-attack, during the course of treatment and maintained these gains at 1 year follow up. DBT is a well-researched, highly effective approach for treating both emotional dysregulation and also Borderline Personality Disorder.

DSM IV Diagnostic Criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (At least 5 of the following):

  1. A pattern of intense and unstable interpersonal relationships.
  2. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
  3. Identity disturbance or problems with sense of self.
  4. Impulsivity that is potentially self-damaging.
  5. Recurrent suicidal or parasuicidal behavior.
  6. Affective instability.
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  8. Inappropriate intense or uncontrollable anger.
  9. Transient stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.