Common Questions

Guidelines for Choosing a DBT Therapist

Choosing which DBT program to attend is an important choice. Educating yourself on what to look for is critical! DBT is an evidence-based treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as well as other diagnoses. Attending a program offering comprehensive DBT can result in positive changes. When DBT is not done as designed, the results may not be the same, causing the person to lose hope and trust and then to be reluctant to try DBT again. Therefore, it is critical to be sure that your DBT therapist is truly qualified to practice DBT. Dr. Linehan is currently developing a credential process to authenticate the standards delivered by DBT clinicians.

Getting the best outcomes possible from DBT requires a well-trained DBT therapist who provides services in a highly structured and comprehensive DBT treatment environment. Without this, patients may not improve at the same rate or to the same extent as those who receive comprehensive DBT.

We have put together a list of questions when contacting DBT programs or clinicians for information that we hope is helpful to you:

  • Have you completed a 10 day Intensive Training?
  • Are you currently a member of a DBT consultation team?
  • Have you been supervised by an expert DBT therapist?
  • When was the last DBT training you attended?
  • How often do you attend DBT trainings?
  • Do you teach skills classes weekly?
  • Do you practice Behavior Chain Analysis?
  • Do you do phone coaching?
  • Do you use Diary Cards?

At the DBT Center of Orange County are goal is to ensure the highest standards and quality in delivery of DBT services to YOU!

Why do people seek DBT therapy?

Therapy can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping for mood and personality disorders, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, bereavement, spiritual conflicts, stress management, body image issues, and creative blocks. The hope is that people seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-awareness and creating change through acceptance strategies.

What can I expect from DBT?

DBT Skills Group is a 12 week curriculum. It is a 1.5hr educative and interactive skills building program with approximately 6-8 people in group. The focus is on the development of ‘tools’ to help you cope with emotionally stressful thoughts and situations. The curriculum is developed to help you build a Life Worth Living!

DBT Individual Sessions are offered in conjunction with the DBT Skills Group. This 50 minute session includes a discussion of the primary treatment goal/target that is set by you and your therapist. Regulating your emotions and behaviors is an essential component of DBT and you will be asked to use a Diary Card for self-monitoring between sessions.

A Behavior Chain Analysisis used in session to develop awareness and insight into problematic behaviors when these arise.

DBT requires commitment, patience and practice of the skills. DBT is a powerful form of therapeutic intervention that is right for anyone wanting to get the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness and working towards change and acceptance.

Do I have to be in group and individual therapy simultaneously?

This will depend on your own individual treatment plan that you and your therapist develop collaboratively.