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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT for Adults  |  DBT for College Aged Students
 |  DBT for Friends and Families

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan.  Originally, DBT was created to help people who were suicidal and struggling with self-harm urges. DBT is especially helpful for individuals who have difficulty regulating or dealing with their emotions. Focused on validating the difficulties of life’s struggles, the apparent difficulty with conflicting and intense emotions, and the desire to make important changes, DBT is a highly practical and direct form of therapy. Rather than only focusing on overcoming misery, DBT also emphasizes working on creating a life you want to live. After years of research, DBT is considered to be an empirically supported treatment for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and is also being used to treat individuals who struggle with emotions but who do not meet criteria for BPD. Recently, DBT has been modified to treat individuals who struggle with a range of psychological problems including substance abuse and eating disorders. 

DBT Treatment

DBT integrates cognitive behavior therapy with teachings in mindfulness and acceptance. Generally, DBT treatment entails both participation in a weekly 1.5 hour skills training group and weekly individual DBT therapy.  Skills training teaches specific lessons in mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness in order to help you learn to be fully in the moment,  effectively manage emotions, cope with crises without making them worse, and meet your objectives in relationships.
Many people who feel stuck in therapy or have pursued many treatments with minimal benefits find DBT to be remarkably helpful.  DBT clinicians are committed to being available to you and pursuing ongoing consultation to provide you with a high level of care.

Skills Training Groups

The DBT skills training group takes approximately 6-7 months to complete all modules. We have two different Adult DBT groups and one Young Adult DBT group available. See below for days and times of each group. In some cases, clients elect to stay in group longer to increase their mastery of skill use. New group members enter into the group at the beginning of each new module, which is typically every 4-5 weeks. Clients are required to be in individual therapy in order to participate in the DBT group.  Modules include the following skill topics:
    Mindfulness - A “core” DBT skill, mindfulness involves paying attention, in the moment, non- judgmentally to live your life in a deliberate manner.

    Emotion Regulation
    - Learn the function of emotions and improve your ability to describe, change, and cope effectively, rather than let emotions control you.

    Distress Tolerance
    - Manage crises without making your problems worse.

    Interpersonal Effectiveness
    - Attend to your needs and improve relationships.

Target Population:
This group is geared towards relatively high functioning individuals.  Clients must be attending school, working, or volunteering in order to participate in the group.

DBT Group Therapy

College Students, Graduate Students, Young Adults DBT Skills Training Group
AICT is pleased to announce a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training group for college, graduate students, or young adults who struggle with emotions and/or problem behaviors. The group will meet each Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 pm.

Adult DBT Skills Training Group
Dr. Susan Paula currently runs two adult DBT skills training groups on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 7 to 8:30 pm. 

Adult DBT Skills Graduate Group (not currently offered)
This group, run by Dr. Graham Reynolds, is a 12 week program focused on goal setting and using skills to continue to work toward life worth living goals. Our aim is to help individuals who have completed DBT skills training to cope with difficult emotions and to continue to generalize skills use to everyday life. In order to be eligible for admission, members must have completed all four modules of DBT skills group and must not be actively engaging in self-harm behaviors. Members will create individualized goals at the beginning of the 12 weeks and will continue to work to achieve those goals throughout the duration of the group. Participants will lead mindfulness exercises and will assist in completing chain analyses to address issues that other group members bring up. Groups last 90 minutes per week and the 12 week cycle can be repeated in order to work on additional goals.

DBT Multi-Family Skills Training Group (not currently offered)
Adolescents and their parents will attend a 1 1/2 hour weekly skills groups for 16 weeks. The format is designed to teach adolescents and their parents a new and effective skill set organized into the fol-lowing five modules: (1) Mindfulness, (2) Emotion Regulation, (3) Distress Tolerance, (4) Inter-personal Effectiveness, and (5) Walking the Middle Path. This group helps parents understand, respond to, and effectively help their adolescent become more adaptive in managing day to day emotions and behaviors. New families will be invited to join the group when each new skill module is introduced, which occurs every 4-5 weeks. This group is not currently running. 

The Friends and Family Individual DBT Skill Sessions at AICT (not currently offered)
The Friends and Family DBT Individual Skill Sessions consists of four modules (Core Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance and Emotion Regulation) and it is structured like a course. However, individuals are not required to participate in all modules and sessions can be scheduled as needed. Each session consists of (listed sequentially): a brief mindfulness practice, new skills presentation, and homework review. Homework is assigned in order to facilitate the ability to learn and generalize incorporating skills into one’s life. Skills sessions can be repeated.

To learn more about getting an evaluation or treatment options, please call us at 212 308 2440.

For a printable brochure on DBT for Adults or College Students, click here.
For a printable brochure on DBT for Families, click here.

Further Reading and Sample Chapters from Guilford Press

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