Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioural treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. The therapy teaches people to regulate their strong emotional responses through various learned skills which are regularly practiced and reinforced throughout therapy. Additionally, DBT helps people who have emotional pain to find meaning and value in their suffering and create purposeful lives. DBT includes teaching the core skills of mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Individual DBT sessions begin with therapist and client reviewing the client Diary Card at every session. The client keeps a log of their newly learned behaviours practiced between sessions in addition to tracking problematic areas such as self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and obsessive-compulsive behaviours. With the guidance of the Diary Card and the client’s current needs, the therapist is able to identify and prioritize the required skills to be learned at each session. Essentially the therapist acts like a coach to analyze analyze problematic behaviours frame-by-frame in order to target the missing skills to be learned.
Our individual therapy DBT program at the Newmarket Therapy Centre can range from several sessions to learn core skills or a complete program consisting of 16 sessions in total, through 4 stages of therapy. Our therapist will support and encourage change through positive reinforcement in this program. Individual strengths are identified as clients learn to change unhealthy thoughts, improve troubling behaviours, and experience calmer emotions. Phone Coaching is also available for clients who need added support between sessions.