Be Willing to Know What is Knowable…

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) consists of two parts:

Weekly psychotherapy sessions in which a particular problematic behavior or an event from the past is explored in detail, beginning with the chain of events leading up to it, going through alternative solutions that might have been used, and examining what kept the client from using more adaptive solutions to the problem:

Both between and during sessions, the therapist actively teaches and reinforces adaptive behaviors, especially as they occur within the therapeutic relationship… the emphasis is on teaching patients how to manage emotional trauma rather than reducing or taking them out of crises…¬†Telephone contact with the individual therapist between sessions is part of DBT procedures.
(Linehan, 1991)

  1. DBT targets behaviors in a descending hierarchy:
    1. Decreasing high-risk suicidal behaviors
    2. Decreasing responses or behaviors (by either therapist or patient) that interfere with therapy
    3. Decreasing behaviors that interfere with/reduce quality of life
    4. Decreasing and dealing with post-traumatic stress responses
    5. Enhancing respect for self
    6. Acquisition of the behavioral skills taught in a group
    7. Additional goals set by patient
  1. Weekly 1.5-hour DBT skills class which include:
    1.  Interpersonal effectiveness
    2. Distress tolerance/reality acceptance skills
    3. Emotion regulation
    4. Mindfulness skills are taught