What is DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a research-supported evidence-based treatment model that combines cognitive-behavioral theory and methods with principles of mindfulness and Eastern meditation practices. Developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan and her colleagues at the University of Washington, DBT addresses problems with regulating emotion, managing behavior, and challenging and changing certain thought patterns that can lead to emotional reactivity and interferes with relationships, and robs us of the life we want to lead.

DBT maintains that some people, due to the interaction between their environments during upbringing as well as biological factors as yet unknown, react intensely to stimuli, experience high levels of arousal, and need more time to return to baseline after events that stimulate emotion. This can lead to the appearance of having constant “crises,” and/or extreme emotions that shift from one to another rapidly. As a result, interpersonal and relationship problems can develop, as well as difficulties establishing a sense of identity outside of the “highs and lows” of emotions.

The dialectical nature of this approach means that treatment will include combining validation and acceptance while teaching you, step by step, to make changes so that you can have the life that you want.

If you are considering DBT, it may be because you have not yet learned methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotion. At the Oakland DBT and Mindfulness Center, all of our therapists are intensively trained in the treatment model and provide individual therapy, skills training and phone coaching to support you to integrate what you have learned in your day to day life. As the treatment is intensive, our therapists participate in a weekly consultation meeting to ensure that we are doing our best work.

The goal of DBT treatment is help you suffer less and to help you build a life worth living.

If you have further questions or to schedule an initial appointment, please call 510.239.5698