Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a skill based therapy in which individuals learn adaptive skills to manage emotional distress and improve relationships. This therapy treatment can be beneficial for persons with depression, borderline personality, bipolar disorder, as well as any mental health issues that lead to impulsive or aggressive behavior, self-harm, chemical abuse, or suicidal thoughts.
DBT consists of weekly individual therapy and skills group. Treatment typically lasts for 12-18 months and participants have access to phone coaching seven days a week. Omni Mental Health’s DBT program is a state certified Intensive Outpatient Program which consists of licensed mental health professionals. Our program adheres to state requirements for how DBT treatment is provided and documented.
In addition to our general DBT program, Omni Mental Health has an Adapted DBT Skills Group, which is for individuals with learning disorders, developmental disorders, or traumatic brain injuries. This group follows a simplified DBT workbook and therapists use a team approach to work with the client’s care providers and guardians when needed.
What exactly is DBT?
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an intensive outpatient treatment program that focuses on increasing skillful behavior in four areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Clients will be assigned an individual therapist that they will meet with weekly to get support with reaching their goals. Clients are asked to fill out a diary card which is reviewed at each session. Clients will also attend a two-hour DBT skills group, which is lead by two therapists and follows a class room/small group discussion model. The skills group promotes learning of new ways to improve functioning, so that maladaptive functioning can be replaced with healthier options.
What is a diary card?
Many people tell us they are intimidated by the idea of a diary card, and truth be told almost every client struggles with getting in the habit of filling it out daily. A diary card is a worksheet that clients use to track their DBT skill use, emotions and progress on goals. It takes a couple minutes to fill out each day and while some might find it hard to put in their daily schedule, once you start doing it, you will only notice how much it helps with skill retention and increased mindfulness.
What if I don’t want to be in a group?
We get it, being in a group can be hard. A lot of people suffer from some social anxiety and being around new people can be intimidating. Our groups are run very much like a class and not like a free for all support group. We have structure and rules, but also flexibility and fun. Each group has two therapists so if you need to step out and check in about something with one of the therapists, it’s cool. In life we have to be in groups, and people exist everywhere we go.We can use DBT group as a place to practice your skills, and learn how to be around people in a safe, supportive environment.
Who does it work for?
DBT started as a treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and quickly became more wide-spread to other personality disorders, and mental health diagnoses. DBT is not an easy program, it requires some effort and willingness to look at ourselves and change. Change can be hard but it can also change your life.
Do I have to make a year long commitment?
Yes, you do. DBT is a year long program so you should know that and plan to complete it before you commit to it. We understand things happen and sometimes people can’t follow through with commitments. Our team wants you to be successful and we will work with you as much as we can to support you in being able to complete the program. Also, some people want to continue the program further than a year, in order to make more progress with their mental health, and that’s okay too.
What is phone coaching?
Telephone coaching is an important component of DBT in which participants can call their therapists when they need help figuring out what DBT skills to use. It is typically a 5-10 minute phone call focused on identifying helpful skills. Therapists try to make themselves available for phone coaching outside of business hours. When phone calls are not possible, DBT participants have a safety plan to refer to in order to help themselves through crises.
What are your group times?