What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is the most researched treatment for people who experience difficulties in regulating their emotions. It was originally developed by Dr Marsha Linehan for self-harming individuals who met criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT is effective for people who experience overwhelming emotions and want to learn more skillful ways of managing intense suffering, reduce disruptions to their personal relationships and social lives, decrease impulsivity and build lives that they will experience as worth living. DBT is a team-based programme that entails weekly individual therapy and skills classes, phone skills coaching to ensure generalisation and DBT team consultation*.
This intensive twice weekly therapy was proven effective in reducing suicidal behaviour, non-suicidal self-injury as well as improving social and overall functioning. DBT is now widely used as a treatment for eating and mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance dependency. Research also suggests its effectiveness with sexual abuse survivors. We give people a choice of committing to the full programme, which entails both individual therapy and DBT classes or just DBT classes if they receive individual therapy elsewhere or are only interested in some of the DBT modules.
*The DBT consultation team is focused on the people who provide DBT, including individual therapists and skills trainers. The consultation team is intended to support them in their work and is designed to help therapists stay competent, motivated and adherent to the model so they can provide the best treatment possible. This is especially important when they are treating people with severe, complex, difficult-to-treat disorders so the team can help one another manage burnout and share their knowledge.