Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Counseling Services

Dialectical Behavior therapy (DBT) can help you feel confident in your ability to manage difficult emotions and create long lasting relationships.

DBT will give you the skills you need to navigate life’s challenges.

We all experience intense emotions. They can cause dysregulation, impulsive behavior, and impact relationships. Historically, DBT has been used to treat personality disorders. However, clinicians have recently observed that DBT skills can help effectively treat anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and trauma*.

DBT works through the development of 4 core skills. These skills can be applied to help you tolerate overwhelming, difficult emotions so they do not interfere with your life any longer. With guidance from Katie Jackson-Griffin, LCPC, you will build these skills and learn how to apply them to your unique circumstances to feel confident in persevering through hardships.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy can give you the skills you need to live life with confidence.

DBT can be effective for many different people, regardless of if you are new to therapy or have tried other therapy approaches.

A man overwhelmed by anxiety

A man struggled with generalized anxiety for as long as he could remember. He would be exhausted after each day due to his racing, worried thoughts, physical discomfort, and inability to focus. Through DBT, he learned the skills of mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation. He was able to calm his physical reactions, tame the racing thoughts, and he gained ways to effectively cope with his emotions so they no longer ruled his life.

Someone looking to overcome past relationship trauma and form healthy relationships

An individual in a new relationship found themselves frequently anxious about if the relationship would last. They felt worried that their new dating partner would leave suddenly or start treating them poorly like they had experienced before. Once they completed DBT, the distress tolerance, interpersonal, and mindfulness skills helped them to focus on what they can control, emphasize the present moment while things are going well, and effectively ask for what they need in the relationship.

Working to overcome depression

An individual with a long history of depression was struggling with low energy, a low mood, feeling isolated, and a loss of pleasure in activities they used to enjoy. Using DBT, the skills they learned allowed them to find motivation and more enjoyment in the present moment. They started to use self-soothing skills to ease their low mood. The individual learned how to lean on their support system and ask for what they need from others even though it feels scary. While they know they may experience depressive episodes in the future, they now have confidence that they will get through those times.

The woman struggling with self-harm/destructive behavior

A woman experienced childhood trauma that led her to restrict her eating and engage in self-harm. She recognized that these were choices that were creating more issues instead of giving her the relief she needed.

Through DBT, she learned the emotion regulation and distress tolerance technique called “urge surfing”. This allowed her to label her emotions and the urge to engage in harm, while recognizing that the feelings would pass. She found ways to tolerate her intense emotions without needing the more immediate relief that she thought restriction and self-harm gave her. The woman was then able to replace the destructive behaviors with healthy, long-lasting coping skills.

Why DBT is right for you.

DBT can help you feel more confident to cope with your emotions and problem solve effectively. You will learn valuable, concrete skills and how to apply them. Using DBT, you can get a sense of relief you are seeking from your distressing symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, and/or disordered eating.

This therapeutic approach can help you transform your thought processes, embrace all emotions and learn from them, as well as create long-lasting, meaningful relationships. You’ll walk away with a toolbox to help you grow and create your best life.

The 4 core skill sets that you’ll master to help you effectively cope with all of life’s ups and downs.

1. Mindfulness

This core skill set in DBT teaches you to observe yourself and your surroundings in a non-judgmental way. By removing the judgment, you can ground yourself in the facts, which can separate out how your fear (or other emotion) may be intensifying racing worried thoughts or ineffective, impulsive behavior. Mindfulness can create peace and relaxation.

2. Distress Tolerance

This skill set is critical to teach you how to cope with painful situations and emotions. Unfortunately, we cannot escape pain. When we resist it, we often make it worse. Instead, these skills teach you how to surrender to your emotions, honor them, and allow you to move forward.

3. Emotion Regulation

This skill set teaches you how to tame overwhelming emotions and make them more effective for you. You’ll learn how to examine common misconceptions about emotions and give yourself permission to experience a wide range of them. You’ll learn how to effectively problem solve based on what is in your control and make a plan for how to cope with potential difficult emotions ahead.

4. Interpersonal Skills

This skill set will teach you how to communicate effectively. It will show you how to be assertive to get the support you need. You will learn how to identify when you need boundaries. Setting boundaries can be scary, but they can also allow us more control over not just our relationships, but our emotions. This skill set will set you up for long lasting, healthy relationships.

Not sure if DBT is right for you?

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What to expect from DBT therapy

We create a unique counseling process that is tailored to each person’s strengths and experiences.

Counseling is meant to guide you on a path to healing and success. Your clinician will tailor treatment to your needs when it comes to goals and how you’d like to create a fulfilling life. Treatment may include only DBT techniques or a combination of DBT and other techniques. Counseling can be short-term or long-term based on your unique needs.

You will attend weekly sessions, as this allows you to create rapport and develop a close working relationship with your clinician. It is important that there is mutual respect and trust so you have the opportunity to achieve the best outcomes from counseling. Our goal is for you to feel confident and independent after therapy services; to know that you can do life on your own.

Both before and during your first session, you will be asked to provide information about yourself and your reasons for seeking counseling. During the first session, your clinician will briefly review Restorative Counseling’s policies so that you are aware of your rights as a client and can ask any questions you may have. The primary focus of the intake process is to discuss your personal, social, family, and educational history to help give your clinician an overall picture of who you are.

Additionally, your clinician will determine if DBT is right for you and your needs. Some introductory education about DBT skills will be shared. Goals for treatment will be discussed and your clinician will provide insight into how they conduct counseling sessions.

In addition to learning about you, the Intake process is a time for you to learn about your clinician. It is important that you feel they are the right fit for your style and needs. We encourage you to ask questions so you can be clear on what to expect from your clinician.

The intake session(s) typically lasts 55-60 minutes.

You will learn the 4 DBT core skill sets. There will be times to practice the skills in session. For example, you may try out a grounding exercise or role-play a conversation to practice being assertive. As part of the process, you will reference outside situations that cause you trouble. Your clinician will assist you with developing ways to apply DBT skills directly to each situation. Then, you will be asked to practice the skills outside of sessions to ensure that you are integrating them into your life effectively. You may start to notice consistent change in as few as 12 weekly sessions. However, since every person is a unique individual, there is no one timeline when it comes to DBT’s effectiveness. You and your clinician will check in about your progress so that any adjustments can be made. The collaborative nature of the therapeutic relationship is essential.

Ongoing sessions are 45-53 minutes in length, depending on your insurance plan.

As you move through learning and applying the DBT skill sets, you will discuss progress with your clinician. You will be encouraged to reflect on what differences you notice in your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Once it has been decided that you have reached your treatment goals, you and your clinician will discuss terminating services. These final few sessions will focus on the progress you’ve made and developing a plan to prevent escalation of your symptoms in the future.

Meet our dedicated clinician offering DBT Counseling
Katie Jackson-Griffin, LCPC

I am passionate about guiding you to love yourself and build up your resilience to take on all of life’s challenges.

We will help you identify and build upon your strengths to make meaningful change.

*Reference:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy. (2021, December 13). DBT : Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Skills, Worksheets, & Videos. DBT. https://dialecticalbehaviortherapy.com/