Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive evidence-based treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan for emotionally vulnerable people who are not able to manage intense emotions in effective ways. DBT combines aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy and Zen mindfulness. DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan to treat individuals with chronic suicidal ideation and self-harm who often have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Today it has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of other disorders including personality disorders, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, substance abuse, PTSD, and eating disorders.
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DBT Therapy reduces risk in suicidal youth: Clinical trial shows dialectical behavior therapy effectiveness. Read article here.
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Originally designed as a treatment for people experiencing chronic suicidal thoughts as a symptom of borderline personality, DBT is currently used to treat people who experience an array of chronic or severe mental health issues, including self-harm, eating and food issues, addiction, and posttraumatic stress, as well as borderline personality.
Skills training: Skills training takes place in a group class setting which meets weekly for 1 hour. Group leaders teach Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal skills. Homework practices are assigned weekly to help the patient integrate skills into their daily lives.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy takes place 1-2x’s a week and is focused on identifying behaviors the client wants to increase and decrease. DBT therapists are trained in behavioral analysis to help the client understand behavioral patterns which diminish the client’s capacity to obtain goals. Once understanding has been achieved, the DBT therapist and the client work to develop solutions to break these patterns by incorporating interventions and skills to help make lasting behavioral changes.
Phone Coaching: The purpose of phone coaching is to provide clients with in the moment coaching on how to apply DBT skills in everyday life.
Consultation Team: DBT is a team approach therefore the therapist has the support of their consultation team when treating individuals with complex and difficult to treat disorders. Team helps increase the competence of the therapist as well as ensure the therapist is staying within the DBT framework. This helps the patient get the most effective treatment possible. Dallas DBT meets weekly and consults with an outside consultant through the Linehan Institute.
Parent/Caregiver skills training: Caregivers of adolescents enrolled in DBT are highly encouraged to attend Parent/Caregiver DBT Skills group one time weekly in order to learn similar DBT skills that your teen is working on in therapy. This serves to enhance parents’ understanding, communication, limit setting, and ability to tolerate distress often caused by caring for a struggling teen.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is a researched based treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PE originally was developed Edna Foa, PHD to help clients confront anxiety related to trauma and process traumatic memories in order to reduce PTSD and other trauma related symptoms. PE is considered the first line treatment for PTSD due to the treatment having the most empirical evidence to support effectiveness of treatment.
Melanie Harned, PHD, adapted this treatment using the DBT principles, skills, and framework to treat individuals who suffer from trauma, as well as suicidal ideation and self harm. This treatment of DBT combined with PE has been researched with this population and has been shown to be effective in reducing suicidal ideation, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trauma related guilt, shame, and overall improvement in returning to normal functioning.
DBT Dallas was selected in 2015 to be one of the teams out of 60 participants worldwide to receive intensive training with Marsha Linehan, PHD and Melanie Harned, PHD for DBT adapted Prolonged Exposure training on the campus of University of Washington.
For more information about Prolonged Exposure please visit Melanie Harned's website: https://dbtpe.org/