The program addresses these five skills:
To focus more fully on the present moment and less on the painful past or worrisome future
To cope with painful events that hurt but cannot be changed
To relate to feelings in less reactive and destructive ways
To express beliefs and needs, set limits, and negotiate solutions to problems while protecting relationships and treating others respectfully
To identify values and what matters most in life, and to take action that is guided by these values
Seeking help for self-destructive behaviours? Struggling with overwhelming emotions? I offer a 13-session program for clients that teaches Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) skills in an integrative and applicable manner in both group and individual settings.
What is DBT?
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment approach designed by Marsha Linehan to help people deal with overwhelming emotions without losing control or acting destructively. This type of therapy assumes that the more we try to avoid, control, and struggle with our thoughts and feelings, the more overwhelming they get. This is not helpful, and increases our suffering. Alternatively, we can learn over time how to face our emotions, look at our thinking, and choose new ways to cope, live, and grow.
What is dialectical?
The word 'dialectical' refers to 'dialectics,' which in DBT means making room for our conflicting needs and wants in our emotional and mental worlds. It is like making peace with both acceptance and change. Through DBT, we learn to experience our emotions—as uncomfortable, unwanted, and incompatible as they may be— and develop the skills to cope with the distress that arises when we are faced with our own inner struggle and pain. DBT encourages us to critically look at what is working in our lives, and at what is not, for the purpose of making changes that will help us lead a valued life.
Recommended DBT books and resources:
The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew KcKay, PhD, Jeffrey C. Wood, Psy.D, Jeffrey Brantley, MD
Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Private Practice by Thomas Marra, PhD*
*This is written for clinical use by professional practitioners.
The following links have useful resources that cater to experiential learning and practice of DBT. Click on the link for more information:
Marsha Linehan resource pages:
DBT resource pages:
How can DBT help me?
DBT is an evidence-based treatment approach that is effective with a wide array of behavioural, emotional, and mental concerns, particularly for, but not limited to:
Behavioural Addiction (e.g. alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, smoking, etc.)
Mood Disorders (including Bipolar Disorder)
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Personality Disorders (including Borderline Personality Disorder)
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Suicide & Self-harming Behaviours