Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an intensive outpatient program that has proven efficacy in addressing issues with emotion dysregulation including suicidality, self-injurious behavior, addictions and impulsivity. DBT treatment is also highly effective in managing issues of dyscontrol with food, substances, sex and spending.
Emotion dsyregulation is defined as the experience of an emotion operating at high intensity and causing disruption, dysfunction and difficulty in management of behavior. Many people experience emotion dysregulation as an emotion that seems to have “taken over” and that wreaks havoc on relationships, daily functionality and the experience of mental health and wellbeing.
Our DBT program includes 4 key components. 3 components applicable to the client and 1 to the clinician. These include:
Skills group therapy
Consultation ( team treatment)
This is a year long program at minimum and requires commitment and motivation. Any individual that misses 4 consecutive sessions will be dismissed from the program or put on “vacation” for a predetermined period of time.
In DBT, the participant attends individual weekly sessions with an Individual therapist. Treatment planning is specific to each individual and in some instances 2 weekly sessions may be recommended if acuity and need warrants it. Individual sessions are highly structured and operate on a clear set of treatment goals that are collaboratively determined within the first 2 sessions of treatment.
In order to be in DBT, clients are required to participate in weekly skills training. This is a 90 minute class that teaches skills to decrease problem behaviors and increase effective behaviors. The class teaches four sets of skills that include skills for emotion dysregulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance and mindfulness based skills.
Each client will be given a phone coaching number for their treating therapist. Clients are required to use coaching behavior to interrupt problem behaviors outside of session. Coaching is the act of calling your therapist to receive skills assistance in managing situations that the client feels unable to manage effectively independently. The goal of coaching is to support interruption of habituated and chronically dysfunctional behavior and to encourage the individual’s ability to manage behaviors effectively.
All clinicians providing DBT must be a participant on team. DBT is a weekly team treatment meeting where clinicians collaborate on the most effective treatment strategies for current clients. Team also provides a forum for ensuring ethical delivery and balanced clinical staff decision making. All client information is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).