Dialectical Behavior Therapy Programs

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a structured therapeutic treatment that emphasizes balance between acceptance and change.

The core skills of DBT are zen mindfulness-based, teaching clients how to increase awareness by noticing thoughts, feelings, and body sensations and then strengthening attention back to the present moment.  Over time, this helps clients cultivate the experience of living life from a place of “wise mind”, or centered intuition,  instead of reacting to life through behavioral patterns, emotional impulses, and black and white thinking.

Developed in the 1970’s, DBT is one of the most successful and effective treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT also helps reduce impulsive behaviors, such as suicidality, self-harm, substance abuse, eating disordered behavior, aggression, isolation, rumination, dissociation, anxiety, depression and panic attacks. DBT teaches skills to control these behaviors by helping clients build a life worth living through tolerating distress, learning how to bear pain skillfully, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others.

There are programs available to treat both adults and adolescents within a rolling twelve week skills training cycle. GenPsych is unique because we are dedicated to implementing the philosophies and strategies of DBT not only within our fully structured DBT program but in our Mental Health and Substance programs as well. At intake, a psychiatrist and clinician will help to evaluate which program will fit your needs, whether that is a partial level of care, an intensive outpatient level of care and whether you will receive the best treatment in the full DBT program or within the Mental Health program with a DBT informed track.

Clients in both the full DBT and Mental Health DBT informed track will learn skills from the following modules:

Mindfulness teachings will be repeated between each module. These skills help to integrate one’s sense of self by consciously strengthening attention via nonjudgmental practice onto the present moment within the person’s internal experience and in the outside environment.

Walking the Middle Path is an umbrella of dialectical strategies that make up the basis of DBT treatment. This unit includes a lecture on Dialectics which addresses how to synthesize beliefs, emotions, and behaviors that appear to be opposites.  Validation skills are taught so clients see how their own experiences, as well as others, make sense given their current situation, skill level, and past experiences. Behaviorism helps to teach behavior management and change via reinforcement and consequences.

Emotion Regulation is an extensive unit that teaches clients about their emotions. Detailed attention is spent helping clients understand the process of emotion as well as how to reduce emotional sensitivity by preventative strategies. Client will also learn how to reduce and let go of emotional intensity through mindfulness and behavioral techniques.

Distress Tolerance is an imperative unit which helps clients when they are experiencing their most intense levels of suffering. Clients learn the importance of radically accepting things that cannot be changed in life as well as how to tolerate intense pain and distress. Skills are learned that help the client cope with behavioral urges that if left untreated, can lead to making the situation worse.

Interpersonal Effectiveness includes skills to help clients get needs met when interacting with other people while preserving self-respect, the objective of the conversation, and the relationship. This unit helps with people who have intense and/or volatile relationships, fear of abandonment and rejection as well as people who have difficulty asking for something or saying no.

Clients in both programs will have an individual therapist who meets with them once per week. The difference between DBT and Mental Health DBT informed is that clients in DBT have a homework group and a skills practice group. Clients in Mental Health DBT informed have a process group instead of the homework group.  DBT Clients have an individual therapist that targets behaviors in individual sessions using diary cards and chain analysis, provides phone coaching, and meets on a DBT consultation team once per week.  Phone coaching is a service where a client can contact their individual therapist for coaching outside of program hours and receive help and feedback about how to generalize skills into the real world.

Regardless of what problems you may have and what you are working through in your life, GenPsych’s DBT programs can help you. With a passionate, dedicated, and caring staff, clients find that despite initial feelings of hopelessness and helplessness they are supported in starting to build a life worth living one day at a time.

DBT/Mental Health DBT Informed Partial Care Programs are a 5 1/2 hour / 5 days a week,  program for adults that runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

DBT/Mental Health DBT informed Intensive Outpatient Programs are a 3 hour / 3 days a week treatment available Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for adults and Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for adolescents.

Transportation is available to qualified program attendees.

Please note: Program offerings differ by location.