Psychotherapy » Dialectical Behavioral Therapy


Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy tries to identify and change negative thinking patterns and pushes for positive behavioral changes. DBT may be used to treat suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors based on the four modules of Dialectical Behavior Therapy:

  • Mindfulness: Increasing awareness and focus in the present moment

  • Emotion Regulation: Navigating up-and-down emotions

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Managing relationships

  • Distress tolerance: Tolerating difficult emotions safely, reduce suffering through reality acceptance

In DBT, individuals are taught skills to enhance their capabilities in regulating emotions, managing relationships more effectively, tolerating distress and increasing awareness. Ensuring that the skills are acquired and then practiced and rehearsed is a key component of the comprehensive DBT program.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a process of different stages, all of which are developed to help encourage a willingness to get better and obtain healthy coping skills. The DBT process is broken down into four different stages:

  • Stage one: Stage one of DBT serves as the foundation on which you will build your success. During this first stage, you will begin learning how to control your behaviors, including those behaviors that prevent you from getting the help you need and/or cause you to harm yourself physically or emotionally. You will also work with a therapist to identify additional disorders that might be occurring simultaneously with your primary disorder.

  • Stage two: Rather than bottling up emotional responses, stage two of DBT helps you learn the power of expression. By talking about your emotions, you can learn how to cope with your underlying issues rather than jeopardize your physical and/or psychological health. Here, you will work with your therapist to acknowledge and work through any traumatic experiences and/or emotional struggles that have prevented you from overcoming obstacles in the past.

  • Stage three: By combining the skills developed in the first two stages of DBT, you will use stage three to learn how to solve your problems successfully, all while striving to maintain proper functioning in your life.

  • Stage four: To wrap up the process of DBT, therapists work with you in stage four to help you reconnect to other individuals in your lives. By working on communication skills and sorting through potential attachment/detachment issues, you can begin learning how to foster positive relationships during this final stage of therapy.


  • Addiction

  • Anger management Issues

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Eating disorders

  • Mood issues

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Panic attacks

  • Phobias

  • Sleeping disorders

  • Stress

  • Trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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