Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a skills-based type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The primary goals of DBT include helping people regulate their emotions, have more successful interpersonal relationships, increase their distress tolerance, and be more mindful of thoughts, feelings, and their environment.
Though it was designed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), DBT is also effective in treating substance abuse as well as a variety of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Clearview is one of the few treatment programs nationwide to use DBT the way it was intended throughout all levels of care at our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center, Women’s Treatment Center, and Outpatient Treatment Center.
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
Meet Clearview’s DBT Expert and Consultant, Dr. Charlie Swenson
How Does DBT Work?
DBT is an evidence-based treatment that combines elements of CBT with the Zen Buddhist methods of meditation and self-awareness. Through individual DBT sessions and DBT skills groups, our clients learn how to incorporate DBT skills into their everyday lives. Our program consists of four stages:
What Is the Evidence Behind DBT?
Marsha Linehan, PhD, originally developed DBT to help female patients whose suicidal tendencies weren’t addressed with traditional therapies. DBT became a vital part of treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD), as 75% of those diagnosed with BPD attempt suicide at least once.
In a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), DBT was twice as successful in reducing suicide attempts (and reducing ER visits by half) among those with BPD compared to other therapies.
Studies have also shown that DBT can significantly reduce anger, depression, self-harm, disordered eating behaviors, and hopelessness. In addition, when used to treat substance abuse, DBT can decrease urges to use, cravings, and physical discomfort from abstaining. Teaching healthier coping skills, DBT helps clients maintain recovery and improve their quality of life.
DBT at Clearview Treatment Programs
Clearview provides comprehensive DBT throughout all levels of care. At our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center, Women’s Treatment Center, and Outpatient Treatment Center, clients participate in individual therapy sessions with a trained therapist as well as skills groups to learn and practice the DBT skills.
As part of our comprehensive DBT program, clients also have access to phone coaching with a therapist between sessions so that they always feel supported and connected. In addition, our team has weekly consultation meetings to ensure they are providing the best treatment possible.
Our therapists have extensive training in DBT by organizations including Linehan’s training institute, Behavioral Tech. The Clearview team also meets regularly with our DBT consultant, Charles Swenson, who helps keep our program on the cutting edge of developments and helps us continually improve our therapy services.
Support from a dedicated DBT team helps clients stay focused on practicing their newly learned skills and ensures clients are held accountable when it comes to their treatment progress. The DBT team not only helps clients stay on track with their treatment, but it also provides stability and support in their recovery journeys.