DBT Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy 

What Is DBT?

DBT is short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This is a specialized type of therapy that requires intensive post-graduate training by the therapists who offer it (all the therapists at TBP are continuing to receive this extensive post-graduate training). Dialectical Behavior Therapy is recognized as an evidence-based practice by the American Psychiatric Association.


DBT is an effective treatment for helping people to manage the intensity of emotions and impulsive behavioral patterns that are causing fall out and disrupting the quality of their daily lives. What DBT does best is that it teaches skills that are not confined to a clinician’s office. These skills generalize to every aspect of your world (work, school, home, friends, family, etc.). At its heart, DBT is the relentless pursuit of problem-solving.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual's ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.

How do I know if DBT is for me?

We have provided DBT training to many different groups (schools/teachers, courts/lawyers, healthcare professionals, etc.). One of the things we hear the most from our trainees is, “DBT skills are something that we all need!” Our participants report they are pleasantly surprised that everyone and anyone can benefit from these skills.

How is DBT any different than any other type of treatment?

One of the common frustrations with traditional therapy is feeling like you gain insight during sessions but that doesn’t translate into behavioral change outside of session. DBT clinicians are committed to helping their clients shape the intensity, frequency and duration of emotions and behaviors that are interfering with building their own lives worth living. We are actually MORE focused on what happens outside of treatment than in it! The people who come to us most often are those who have felt frustrated by not making progress in previous treatments.

Why should I come to TBP to receive DBT?

A lot of people say they do DBT but they don’t offer all the aspects of DBT that randomized controlled trials have shown make it an evidence based practice. There are four aspects of DBT included in the evidence-based trials that allow DBT to be effective:





Our mission is to offer quality DBT at an affordable cost. Therefore, we make sure we offer these services on a sliding scale. 





DBT Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy 


Binge Eating Disorder & Bulimia


Can DBT help treat Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia?


DBT has also been adapted to treat clients with symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Bulimia (BN). The adapted version has been created to help those whose primary treatment focus in BED and BN. This adapted version combines elements of the functions of two distinct modalities in standard DBT: individual psychotherapy (enhancement of motivation) and group skills training (acquisition/strengthening of new skills). These are delivered in 20 weekly sessions, a 2-hour group format for clients with BED or 1 hour individual format for clients with BN symptoms. In addition this adapted version of DBT includes three of the four skills training modules of standard program DBT ( Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance). 


What type of clients might most benefit from receiving this treatment?

The most conservative recommendation at this time DBT as adapted for binge eating and bulimic behavior may be most appropriate for clients who have undergone the standard, evidence-based eating-disorder treatments ( cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy) and failed to improve or received minimal benefit. For a client struggling with emotional eating who describes binge-eating episodes clearly triggered by negative emotions ( anger, sadness ) this treatment may be particularly suitable. 


Clients we recommend not receive this adapted DBT treatment?

It is not unusual for clients  seeking treatment for BED or BN to suffer from comorbid conditions such as mood disorders and Axis II disorders. With clients with multiple symptoms, it is always advisable to prioritize treatment targets. Accordingly, if other serious behaviors, such as current substance abuse or dependance or suicidal behaviors, are present, we recommend postponing the use of DBT for BED and BN treatment until eating-disorder symptoms are the appropriate primary treatment target. That is say, we would not recommend this adapted DBT approach for clients with severely chronic multiple symptoms who are also actively suicidal or who have borderline personality disorder (BPD) or combined BPD with substance dependance. 



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