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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a specific type of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy developed in the late 1980’s by Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan to treat borderline personality disorder. Since its development, it has also been used for the treatment of other kinds of mental health disorders.

DBT emphasizes the psychosocial approach that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those focused in romantic, family and friend relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s, attain a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take a significant amount of time to return to baseline arousal levels.

People who are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder sometimes experience extreme swings in their emotions, see the world in black-and-white shades, and seem to always be jumping from one crisis to another.

Because few people understand such reactions – most of all their own family and a childhood that emphasized invalidation – they don’t have any methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotion. DBT is a method for teaching skills that will help in this task.

Please read our DBT Program Components for a more in-depth breakdown of what we offer.

For more information on any of our programs, please contact Mary Simon at 608-827-7100 or via email.