Dialectical Behavior Therapy

If you want to change specific behaviors and improve your overall quality of life, DBT skills training can help.

Developed by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is widely used across a variety of mental health issues.

DBT is used to effectively address problem behaviors such as:

  • Ongoing conflicts in relationships
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Intense or rapid mood swings
  • Inability to relax
  • Substance abuse
  • Holding in your anger, then “exploding”
  • Impulsive or reactionary decisions you ultimately regret
  • Overeating
  • Spending too much money
  • Avoiding responsibilities, people, or events
  • “Numbing out” as a response to fear, anger, or other negative emotions.

The skills training part of DBT features sessions that are structured so that you will progress through — and master — four different sets of skills.


DBT sessions start with an introduction to the Zen Buddhist concept of “mindfulness.” This encourages you to:

  • increase your ability to observe, describe and participate in life
  • live your life in the moment — accept reality — and yourself — without judgment

Distress Tolerance

These sessions teach distress tolerance skills. You will learn the skills of:

  • tolerating and surviving a crisis
  • radically accepting life as it is in the present
  • meeting pain head on to actually reduce suffering

Emotion Regulation

The third module centers on skills for emotion regulation. These sessions will help you to:

  • identify and label emotions, thus increasing your “emotional vocabulary”
  • identify obstacles to changing your emotions.
  • reduce vulnerability to negative emotions
  • enhance positive emotional events

Interpersonal Effectiveness

The final module focuses on interpersonal effectiveness skills:

  • building mastery and self-respect
  • balancing your priorities with the demands in your life
  • saying “no”
  • resisting pressure
  • maintaining a position or point of view
  • how to ask for things
  • how to initiate a discussion
  • effective conflict resolution

All the skills you’ll learn in DBT are designed to increase your ability to meet your goals, while enhancing relationships and increasing your self-respect.

To learn more about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and schedule an appointment to begin learning the skills you need to change your life, call Suzanne at Parkside Psychotherapy today.