Do You Often Feel Out Of Control?
Do you struggle with your emotions or your relationships? Do you feel too deeply or not know how to get what you want from others? Maybe you find yourself constantly reviewing what happened or what could be. There might be times that the mental noise is so disturbing that you check out by numbing yourself, acting impulsively, or even harming yourself.
Does this sound familiar?
It could be that you struggle with emotion regulation, having difficulty experiencing your emotions and knowing how to make them work for you. It’s possible that life’s stressors feel too much for you to cope with and that you’re often in distress. Maybe your interpersonal relationships are characterized by ups and downs or by you feeling ineffective and unheard.
DBT can help.
How DBT Works
DBT, or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, was developed by Marsha Linehan, originally to treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. However, research has shown this treatment to be effective in treating a wide range of problems, including eating disorders, trauma/PTSD, depression (including treatment-resistant depression), bipolar disorder, ADHD, self-harm/suicidal behavior, and general difficulties around emotions, behavior, and relationships.
DBT can help you identify and explore your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. You’ll become a researcher of your own experience so that you can better understand yourself and so you can target thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that don’t serve you well. You’ll do this through a non-judgmental, self-compassionate lens. DBT can help you learn how to regulate your emotions, improve your interactions, and life your life more skillfully and effectively.
What To Expect With DBT
First and foremost, DBT involves a supportive, therapeutic relationship. You might feel like your therapist is someone who challenges you but is also your biggest fan, someone who accepts you for who you are and will also push you to grow into the person you want to be. In fact, balancing acceptance and change is a core element of this treatment.
During your first session, we’ll gather a lot of information about your strengths and struggles. We may use self-report measures to get a better glimpse into your symptoms. We’ll share more about DBT and will discuss if you’re an appropriate candidate for this treatment.
During the course of DBT therapy, we’ll use two assessment and monitoring tools: chain analyses and diary cards. These tools help us better understand your experiences and give us insight as to where and how to intervene.
You’ll learn how to manage your emotions more effectively and how to negotiate relationship interactions in a way that gets you what you need. When it feels right for you, you’ll process unresolved trauma and grief. And then you’ll work on exploring and acting on your values and goals to help you create a “life worth living.”
The Four Components of Comprehensive DBT
DBT is a wraparound treatment that targets various aspects of your functioning. There are four components to comprehensive DBT. They include:
- Individual therapy: In your weekly, individual DBT sessions with the support of one of our empathic and highly skilled DBT therapists, you’ll track your emotions, behaviors, and experiences to learn more about yourself. You’ll learn to identify specific triggers and consequences for certain behaviors. And you’ll work toward incorporating more skillful behavior over time.
- Skills training: We offer multiple DBT skills groups to teach you the skills you need to live your life more effectively. In our weekly skills groups, you’ll learn mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills in a supportive, interactive setting.
- Phone coaching: As part of your treatment, our DBT therapists will be available to you between sessions for phone coaching. This means that you will have access to guidance and support outside of your scheduled sessions, because as we all know, crises don’t occur that conveniently. We offer skills coaching between sessions so that you don’t have to do this alone.
- Consultation team: Finally, DBT includes therapist consultation with other providers. Your therapist has access to a team of providers who can offer additional consultation and support regarding your case. This helps your therapist make the most informed decisions regarding your care and allows you to benefit from the collective wisdom of multiple, experienced clinicians.
But You May Still Have Concerns About Starting DBT. . .
I’ve heard that DBT is tough and that DBT therapists aren’t as empathic as other kinds of providers.
That’s not the case at Gatewell. In our minds, no treatment can be effective absent a solid therapeutic relationship. These relationships are built on trust, empathy, and compassion. So before we get into DBT, we want to make sure we’ve established rapport and created a safe and solid foundation with you. We view DBT therapy as collaborative and are able to pivot according to your needs and preferences.
It seems like a big commitment to start this treatment.
You don’t have to commit to DBT therapy without making sure it feels right for you. Many people who come to DBT do so after trying less effective approaches. Our hope is that this is the treatment that finally lands for you. We can continue to monitor your progress and response over time, and if it doesn’t feel right, we’ll do some problem solving together.
What if I don’t want to do comprehensive DBT?
We’ll work with you to come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. Some people come to our center only for our skills training groups. Others sign on for comprehensive DBT. We’ll consider the severity of your struggles, along with your goals and any barriers to care, as we decide on a plan that makes sense for you.
What Others Are Saying About DBT
“I utilize DBT because it combines the most effective strategies used in the field for years. It goes beyond talking about what needs to change to actually changing behavior, emotions, and other experiences. It is completely focused on getting the client where they want to be, while also approaching difficult experiences with kindness, understanding, and compassion.” Dr. Amy Long, Seed of Change Counseling and Neurotherapy Services
“I’ve been in a lot of therapy my whole life and when I learned DBT, it helped my life and me make more sense. I learned skills that have taught me how to manage both little and big issues.” Beth Mikesell, LMFT, Therapist in Private Practice
“DBT has taught my clients how to be effective when things are difficult; they learn skills for tolerating distress, managing emotions and how to ask for what they need. DBT has given my clients hope for the future and for a life worth living.” Lynn Waldman, LCSW, San Diego Divorce Counseling Center
Explore DBT Therapy And Find Your Way To A Healthier, More Peaceful Life
DBT therapy offers a supportive, evidenced-based solution to help you manage your emotions and interactions more effectively. You can find relief from distress, freedom from impulsivity, and greater peace in your mind and body. If DBT therapy seems like the right treatment for you, contact us to get started today.