What is DBT Treatment?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: An Insight Into a Life-Changing Treatment


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy initially developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Over the years, its effective therapeutic approach has led to its application in treating many other mental health conditions. DBT aims to build acceptance and change in individuals, fostering skills for mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Understanding the Core Components of DBT


Mindfulness is one of the foundational pillars of DBT. It involves teaching individuals to be fully present in the moment, aware of their thoughts, feelings, and actions without judgment. This skill is critical in aiding individuals to react less impulsively and more thoughtfully to situations.

Emotional Regulation

DBT assists individuals in learning to manage and change intense emotional reactions. This part of therapy focuses on understanding emotions, reducing emotional vulnerability, and decreasing emotional suffering. It can be particularly beneficial for those who experience emotions intensely and have difficulty returning to a stable baseline.

Distress Tolerance

DBT equips individuals with the skills to tolerate stressful situations without reacting impulsively or trying to change the situation. The goal of this component is not to diminish emotions but to accept and tolerate distress as a part of life and find constructive ways to survive and tolerate crises without making them worse.

DBT in Practice: Therapeutic Techniques and Modalities

Individual Therapy

Individual DBT therapy involves one-on-one sessions between the therapist and the client. These sessions typically focus on dealing with the individual's life challenges, applying the skills learned, and improving life quality.

Group Skills Training

In group skills training, individuals learn and practice DBT skills together. Led by a trained therapist, these groups usually meet once a week for a couple of hours and operate similarly to a class. The group setting allows individuals to learn from each other's experiences and foster shared understanding.

Phone Coaching

DBT also includes a phone coaching component, which allows clients to call their therapist between sessions to seek guidance on applying skills to real-life situations. This aspect of DBT helps ensure individuals can effectively use DBT skills daily.

DBT is a potent therapeutic intervention with a unique approach to treatment. With its focus on integrating acceptance and change and its multipronged therapeutic modality, DBT brings about significant improvements in managing emotions, tolerating distress, being mindful, and navigating relationships. By instilling these critical life skills, DBT sets individuals on a path toward a life that feels more fulfilling, manageable, and worth living.

A typical DBT skills group will last about one to two hours once a week, and will be led by a trained therapist. These meetings will likely continue for about six months.The individual therapy sessions you can enroll in to further support your DBT practice will involve private sessions with a trained therapist. The goal of these sessions is to help make sure all of the client’s therapeutic needs are met, as well as providing them with support as they integrate their new DBT skills in their daily life. 

Here at Grouport, we offer group therapy that is conducted online through Zoom calls from the safety of your home. Online DBT group therapy is a viable option for treatment of BPD and other mental health disorders. Learn more about our DBT therapy groups HERE.

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