How does DBT work?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can give you new skills to manage painful emotions, destructive behaviors, and conflict in relationships. DBT focuses on four key areas to transform problem feelings and behaviors into positive outcomes.
- Mindfulness – improve your ability to accept and be present in the current moment.
- Distress Tolerance – increase your tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it.
- Emotion regulation – manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems your life.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness – communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.
What does DBT effectively treat?
DBT was originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to treat borderline personality disorder. However, newer research now shows that DBT also successfully treats depression, bulimia, binge-eating, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic–stress disorder, and substance abuse. The goal of DBT, regardless of your diagnosis, is to help you build a life worth living. During the first four sessions, you and your DBT therapist will agree on goals to prioritize in treatment.
What to expect in a DBT program?
Our comprehensive DBT program offers you a full-service experience to reach optimal mental health. Services include:
- Individual psychotherapy
- Weekly group therapy (24 week curriculum)
- In-the-moment phone coaching
- Parent participation for adolescent clients
- DBT consultation team for our clinicians
In individual therapy, the focus is on developing an understanding of problematic behaviors, emotional suffering, and interpersonal chaos. Additionally, we pin point what prevents individuals from being able to change and what contributes to their emotional suffering. You will learn new ways to cope with intense emotional experiences and alternatives to solving life’s problems.
The skills training group meets weekly for two hours. In the group, individuals are taught four sets of skills including mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. It takes six months to complete all four skills sets, and it is recommended that the group is repeated for a total of one year of group attendance.
It is important to note that the evidence-based treatment includes group participation for a minimum of one year. While this may seem a large commitment, many of our clients have experienced years of failed prior treatments, only to find relief with consistent participation in DBT.
What makes Tampa Bay DBT unique?
We follow all therapy protocols as designed by Dr. Marsha Linehan and are listed in the Behavioral Tech Directory as an approved DBT treatment site. We are one, of only three, comprehensive outpatient DBT programs in the Tampa Bay region.
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