What is DBT? 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, was created by Marsha Linehan, PHD, ABPP, and is an Evidence Based Therapy (EBT). Behavioral Tech training through the Linehan Institute has proven through multiple research methods the effectiveness of adherence to their model and is the basis of our practice at ARC. Different people experience different levels of growth using DBT and it can be important to know the training your therapist has completed particularly if you are experiencing intense symptoms. 


What are the goals of DBT?

DBT has four main goals for treatment.

  • Decrease of life threatening behaviors including suicide, self harm, or drug use

  • Therapy-threatening behaviors including being late, missing appointments, non-collaborative behavior

  • Quality of life interfering threatening behaviors including job or housing loss, mental disorders, or relationship problems

  • Skill acquisition to gain new behaviors to replace old, ineffective ones


Do I need a group or just individual DBT therapy? 

Great question! We’d love to talk to you more about the levels of care related to DBT. Usually we suggest starting with both an individual therapist and group therapy and then taking it from there, particularly if you are struggling to engage in daily activities and feel a sense of hopelessness. In groups we learn a variety of skills and your individual therapist will help you find the best time to use those skills.


What Questions Do I Ask When Looking For a DBT Adherent TherapisT?


The term DBT therapist is not a licensed or protected label. It is up to you as the prospective client to discover
the qualifications of any DBT therapist you may be considering. The following questions may be helpful for you
to determine if the effectiveness of the therapist you are choosing. 

  1. Have you completed a 10 day intensive DBT training through Behavioral Tech, LLC?

  2. Are you a member of a DBT consultation team?

  3. Have you been supervised by an expert DBT therapist?

  4. Are you familiar with the main sets of DBT strategies (cognitive behavioral therapy, validation, dialectics)?

  5. Do you teach skills, practice behavior analysis, review diary cards?

  6. Do you do phone coaching?

  7. How many clients have you treated using DBT?

  8. Have you done any post-intensive specialty trainings?

(Adapted from TARA , 2018) 


What is a Consultation Team? 

The Consultation Team is an adherent part of DBT that asks therapists to have their work “checked” by other therapists to get feedback for what they may be missing and for encouragement. We recognize that in order to be a good DBT therapist, we need others for support and accountability around using DBT skills ourselves. Consultation teams within a practice (often clients are in both a group and individual therapy) share client goals and do not disclose sensitive information. Consultation teams outside of a practice function the way any clinician seeking consultation would - withholding any information that would make that client identifiable. We strive to honor each client within our team, that we are all doing the best we can and can do better.