Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the University of Washington with two key characteristics: a behavioral, problem-solving focus blended with acceptance-based strategies, and an emphasis on dialectical processes. "Dialectical" refers to the issues involved in treating patients with multiple disorders and to the type of thought processes and behavioral styles used in the treatment strategies. DBT has five components: (1) capability enhancement (skills training); (2) motivational enhancement (individual behavioral treatment plans); (3) generalization (access to therapist outside clinical setting, homework, and inclusion of family in treatment); (4) structuring of the environment (programmatic emphasis on reinforcement of adaptive behaviors); and (5) capability and motivational enhancement of therapists (therapist team consultation group). DBT emphasizes balancing behavioral change, problem-solving, and emotional regulation with validation, mindfulness, and acceptance of patients. Therapists follow a detailed procedural manual.
* Adapted from SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
CT DBT Network Clinical Directory
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