Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
The Curry Psychology Group is proud to offer Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an incredibly versatile and practical therapy that can be used to help anyone increase their overall well-being, experience more enjoyment, and mindfulness of the present moment, improve mood, increase self-respect and gain effective communication skills. Our DBT providers have completed extensive training at both the doctoral and post-doctoral levels to specialize in this comprehensive skills-based therapy.
DBT was originally developed in the 1980s as a treatment for borderline personality disorder, with the intention to align the therapist and client as allies in addressing the multifaceted nature of the disorder. In the four decades since its development, DBT has been demonstrated as one of the most highly effective therapies available, particularly for treatment-resistant diagnoses such as moderate-to-severe depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorders.
As its name suggests, DBT was developed from the philosophical perspective of dialectics or balancing opposites. In DBT, the therapist helps the client to balance the dialectic of acceptance and change. The client works toward accepting a certain amount of discomfort, uncertainty, and imperfection in life; while also recognizing that they are responsible for making changes if they wish for their life circumstances to improve.
There are four main skill components of DBT, each of which is taught and reviewed in session with the therapist and then practiced by the client outside of the session. The first skill section, mindfulness, is aimed to improve the client’s ability to be fully present and non judgmental of the current moment. The second section, distress tolerance, helps the client learn that they are capable of tolerating negative emotions. Rather than attempting to escape or act-out when uncomfortable, they are encouraged to practice mindfulness and adaptive coping strategies. The third section, emotion regulation, teaches clients healthy ways to manage and reduce intense emotions that get in the way of them acting effectively. Lastly, in the interpersonal effectiveness section, clients learn ways to improve their personal relationships. This section teaches communication techniques in which clients focus on assertiveness, self-respect, negotiation, and maintaining relationships.
Depending on a client’s needs, our therapists may employ a traditional DBT modality, or may incorporate DBT exercises and skills into other types of therapy.