What Is DBT?

DBT is an evidence-based treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan. The treatment was developed to help individuals who struggle with emotion dysregulation. DBT is a skills-based treatment to help clients learn more effective ways of coping and learn ways to manage emotions more effectively by increasing skill acquisition, strengthening, and generalization.

Is your team trained in DBT?

All of our therapists have attended six years of college to obtain their Master's Degrees in psychology, social work, and/or counseling. Following obtaining their graduate degrees, our clinicians attended extensive training in DBT along with years of DBT experience. All of our clinicians have also attended Behavioral Tech (Marsha Linehan's training program for DBT.) The DBT team has a weekly consultation meeting to continue to focus on client care, research within the DBT framework, and updated information about the treatment.

What does DBT entail?

For clients, DBT entails individual, group skills training, phone coaching during/after hours, and therapist consultation (for therapists only). We create an individualized treatment program for each client who comes to us. Parents attending our program receive individual skills training, parent group, and phone coaching with the parent therapist.

What does the assessment process look like?

When you first come in, you will meet to complete an assessment. This will determine if we feel the treatment will benefit you. During this time, the therapist will gather information and provide recommendations. This allows us to get a comprehensive history of what is bringing you to DBT. Orientation (pre-treatment) will follow the assessment if you are eligible for DBT. Orientation takes around four sessions to complete.

What is a diary card?

The diary card helps both you and the therapist track behaviors, thinking, and emotional patterns that bring you to therapy. The diary card is tailored to each person and tracks specific emotions, behaviors, and thinking patterns. Most people like seeing their progress over time, and this allows us to be able to see that treatment is working.

What do you do in individual DBT therapy?

The first thing you do is review your diary card with your therapist. It is very important to have this each session as it lets the therapist know what specifically would be helpful to discuss. There are primary targets we discuss (life-threatening behaviors, therapy interfering behaviors, quality of life behaviors, and increasing behavioral skills.)

What do you do in the skills group?

Group is taught like a class. You start a group by reviewing the skills practice from the week prior, a mindfulness exercise, and then the skills leader teaches the next skill and reviews the skills practice for the following week. For parents, the group can help you recognize when your children are using skills and to help regulate your own emotions during times of distress (we all experience this from time to time!)

How large skill groups?

Groups typically range from 6-10 clients

I'm worried about my adolescent going into a group because I don't want my adolescent to come home with newly learned behaviors?

The skills groups are structured with many guidelines and expectations that are discussed at the beginning of each module. Each group member follows those guidelines for the group to run effectively. These behaviors are NOT discussed in the group as those specific behaviors are focused on in individual sessions.

Is my adolescent going to be with adults or vice versa in their group?

No, all of our groups are based on age. We have an adolescent, young adult, and adult program.

How long does DBT take?

DBT lasts around one year to complete the program. At the end of the year, we assess together and determine if it is time to graduate fully from the program, taper sessions to twice a month, or find an alternative treatment that may be of benefit.

Is DBT only for a borderline personality disorder?

No. DBT has been researched for many years with numerous diagnoses such as eating disorders, addiction, mood, anxiety disorders, anger management, and adolescents with emotion dysregulation. DBT has become more widely researched with different populations and ages.

Do you accept insurance?

We do not accept insurance directly. We can provide you with an itemized receipt that you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement. Payment is due at the time of service. We will work with your insurance company to help you obtain reimbursement if this is in your plan, as at times, insurance companies will work with us to help you obtain reimbursement. You may need a referral from your psychiatrist or medical doctor that we can assist you with. Most insurance companies provide reimbursement for telehealth and in-person sessions. The procedure codes for individual and group therapy include:
90834 (individual psychotherapy 45 min)
90837 (individual psychotherapy 60 min)
90853 (group psychotherapy 90 min)

What books do you recommend for parents or clients?
  • Wise Mind Parenting by Laura S. Kastner
  • Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions by Pat Harvey ACSW LCSW-C and Britt Rathbone MSSW CSW-C
  • High-conflict Couple by Dr. Alan E. Fruzzetti
  • **The DBT Skills training handouts and worksheets, second edition by Marsha Linehan**
  • Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life by Scott E. Spradlin
  • The Mindful Way Through Depression by J. Mark G. Williams, Zindel V. Segal, and John D. Teasdale