Dialectical Behavior Therapy

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?


We tend to think of change and acceptance as opposing truths, as if accepting our situation means doing nothing about it. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic approach that seeks to transcend this all-or-nothing way of thinking. It teaches us to radically accept our situation as it is, while still working to improve the things within our control.

Instead of seeing change and acceptance as opposing truths, DBT allows us to see them as truths that reinforce each other. In other words: embracing acceptance can lead to change, and embracing change can lead to acceptance.

DBT uses techniques inspired by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Hegelian Philosophy, and mindfulness traditions. It is rooted in the concept of dialectics, which teaches that change is a constant force in life, truth, and the pursuit of happiness. The goal of DBT is to give clients behavioral skills that help them embrace change and break out of unhealthy patterns in their lives.

 

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How Effective Is DBT?

The famous psychologist Marsha Linehan created Dialectical Behavior Therapy at the University of Washington in the 1980s. Although it was originally conceived to treat borderline personality disorder, DBT has since been used to successfully alleviate depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, eating disorders, and many other mental health conditions.

The DBT approach to treatment has been validated in numerous tests and trials and is widely considered a “gold standard” form of therapy.* The research suggests that DBT is the best at initiating short-term change because it gives clients behavioral and interpersonal skills that they can draw from in daily life.
What makes DBT unique at Growth thru Change? We combine DBT with an insight-oriented, psychodynamic approach that’s focused on long-term change. The true path to healing and long-term balance is addressing present destructive behaviors and patterns while simultaneously working to address the underlying root causes. Clients can experience relief in the here and now through DBT skills while working toward deeper, long-lasting healing through a psychodynamic approach.

What Does DBT Therapy Look Like?

Our DBT program is relationally focused, empathy-oriented, and designed with excellence in mind. Since DBT is rooted in the philosophical concept of dialectics, our therapists work with trained philosophers to fine-tune our approach, amplify accuracy, and distill the spirit of dialectics in an easy-to-understand way. We strive to combine compassionate therapeutic care with a rigorous knowledge of DBT’s philosophical framework. 

Individual counseling is an essential aspect of the DBT experience, but group therapy is deeply important to our program as well. In addition to general DBT groups, we have specialty groups for individuals who identify as neurodivergent, LGBTQIA+ folks, and academics. You and your therapist will work together to find a DBT group that feels safe and secure and is surrounded by individuals you can identify with on multitude of levels.  

Our DBT program includes five individual components: 

  • Weekly individual therapy—This provides a space for you to explore all your thoughts and concerns in a one-on-one setting that’s uniquely devoted to your needs.
  • Weekly skills training group—You and other members of the DBT program will learn evidence-based skills for regulating emotions, enhancing interpersonal effectiveness, and navigating crisis moments. 
  • Telephone coaching and live support—A clinician will be available to provide you with relationally-focused skills coaching during daily life challenges to assist you in implementing your skills in real time. 
  • Empathyfocused consultation circle—To ensure continuity of care, your treatment team at Growth thru Change will hold collaborative sessions. A unified approach allows for consistency and can help strengthen and secure your ongoing progress. 
  • Weekly mindfulness gatherings—This will provide a space to practice mindfulness skills such as meditation and breathwork with other members of your DBT group. 

Even though DBT treatment with Growth thru Change is a yearlong process, you may have already attended some version of a DBT program and may be seeking a tune-up which we provide in our three to six-month program. Building a strong rapport with your individual therapist is part of your long-term success, so we invite you to continue individual therapy after completion of your DBT skills groups. It’s of the utmost importance that we accommodate you all the way through the healing process.

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How Can Dialectical Behavior Therapy Benefit Your Life?


DBT therapy has the power to initiate change in every facet of your life. Because of its emphasis on skill-building, it is generally able to deliver results faster than traditional psychotherapy.
In DBT therapy, we are intentional about the psychotherapeutic work being purposeful and goal-oriented, teaching you behavioral strategies that you can apply to everyday life. The four main areas of skill-building that DBT can help you with are:

  • Mindfulness—The goal of mindfulness is to support you in realigning yourself to the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or future. 
  • Emotional regulation—You’ll learn skills for managing, reducing, and responding to challenging and triggering emotional experiences. 
  • Distress tolerance—We’ll concentrate on increasing your capacity to tolerate and respond to emotional crises rather than reacting. 

Interpersonal effectiveness—You’ll gain techniques for improving assertiveness, practicing active listening, managing conflict, and establishing and implementing boundaries.

By fusing all of these components into a structured, proven approach, DBT can help you build the conditions for rapid stabilization, meaningful exploration, and the creation of a flourishing life. This opportunity not only offers hope, but also the possibility of actualizing that hope into long-term change.

Right now, you might feel like you’re merely surviving—DBT can help you break out of survival mode and start thriving. It can empower you to take life by the reins, reverse negative behavioral patterns, and work toward healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

Meet our DBT Program Coordinator

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Live A More Mindful And Empowered Life Through The Power Of DBT

 

Our practice brings over 30 years of combined professional experience into facilitating change. We developed our DBT program to serve the treatment needs of clients looking to create significant change in the shortest amount of time. 

If you’ve been disappointed by therapy in the past and felt that the results took too long to reach fruition, we encourage you to try our DBT program. Our therapists are confident that we can help you achieve both short-term relief and long-term healing. To learn more about our approach, you can schedule a Free Consultation with our Program Coordinator. We look forward to hearing from you!

Cost of DBT Program

  • Weekly individual therapy— If you aren’t in active therapy with an outside therapist then you will be matched with a Growth thru Change clinician. Frequency of sessions will be discussed on an individual basis. The fee for individual sessions range between $140-$170
  •  Weekly skills training group—$75 per session. Weekly attendance is required and charged on a monthly basis $300. Group meets Virtually on Thursdays at 7pm. 
  •  Telephone coaching and live support— $80 billed monthly which provides you with 2 supportive phone calls per month with a DBT skills expert. Additional calls are available al la carte. 

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