Posted by admin in News


As a DBT clinician, our work is substantially different from more traditional therapies. We collaborate with our patients on target behaviors that keep them in suffering - and we actively work to help them build awareness and skills to better manage their emotions around these behaviors. The work is challenging and worthwhile. Especially when you receive the following in your inbox from a former client. I adore you Jen E and thank you for allowing me to walk a small part of your journey with you.

Dr. Michele Lob PsyD., MFT, CEDS



Posted by Kathy Purdy MFTI in News


Shame: we all have it.  But is it helpful?  The answer seems to be, “No.”  Dr. Brené Brown — a world renowned researcher on vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame — has concluded that while a little guilt when we do something “bad” can motivate us to change and act more in alignment with our value system, shame and it’s internal message, “I am bad”, more often causes destructive behaviors and undermines our ability to change.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) therapist at the DBT Center of Orange County, I am interested in what helps support the therapeutic process and what gets in the way of people’s ability to create the life they want.  One thing that's clear is that when shame is left unchecked, it hinders people’s ability to heal and improve their lives.


Marsha Linehan Wins Grawemeyer Award for Psychology

Posted by admin in News


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A University of Washington psychology professor who developed a therapy to treat chronically suicidal patients and extended its power to help people with borderline personality and other disorders has won the 2017 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology.

Marsha Linehan, director of UW’s Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, Center for Behavioral Technology, was selected for the 17th prize. Her award-winning idea is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which balances acceptance and commitment to change in treating mental illness, distinguishing it from previous standard interventions. Research has shown DBT to be effective for conditions previously considered untreatable such as borderline personality disorder, which is characterized by impulsivity, interpersonal problems, and self-destructive urges.


September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Posted by admin in News


September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.Suicide is commonly the result of mental health conditions that impact people when they are most vulnerable, and can affect anybody regardless of age, gender, or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions that affect people when they are at their most vulnerable.  Friends and families are obviously affected as well, experiencing shame or stigma that prevents the open discussion of the issues dealing with suicide.This September, our goal is to spread awareness and knowledge in the interest of suicide prevention. This month we are dedicated to helping you:


Introducing the Eating Disorder Program

Posted by admin in Benefits of DBT


The DBT Center of Orange County opens the First Orange County DBT focused Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorder Program on September 12th, 2016.

The program's Clinical Director Courtney Westin, MFT, CEDS (Certified Eating Disorder Specialist), is a highly skilled and intensively trained DBT Clinician with a strong background in eating disorder research and practice.  Courtney has been an invaluable member of the DBT Center of Orange County’s team since it opened its doors in 2014.  Courtney has developed a powerful DBT Eating Disorder program based on the latest research and will include Yoga, Art Therapy, Case Management, Dietary Support, Individual Therapy, Body Image Group, DBT Skills Training Group, and Mindful Eating.  

Exploring The Science Behind Yoga

Posted by Kathy Du Vernet, M.S., CYT, E-RYT 500 in Benefits of DBT


A new film on UPLIFT, The Science Behind Yoga, interviews a variety of experts to discuss the scientific evidence showing the many benefits of yoga. This, along with other research on yoga and meditation, is good news for yogis to share with their more skeptical friends who often want to see “hard evidence.” As yogis, we have personally experienced and touted the benefits of our practices, and now modern science is reporting significant evidence supporting many of our claims!

Yoga and meditation can help re-shape the brain as well as reduce stress and anxiety

According to neuroscientists, as individuals continue to meditate and engage in meditative body-mind practices such as yoga, the brain actually begins to reshape itself. Studies have shown that yoga and other mindfulness-based practices can reduce stress and anxiety, and improve physical health by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which allows an individual to relax.  Over 160 of these studies have shown that meditation had a positive effect on improving anxiety and stress, and research with people who had clinical levels of anxiety found that 90% of those studied experienced significant reductions in their anxiety.  

Self Criticism or Self Compassion

Posted by Kathy Purdy MFTI in Benefits of DBT


An important aspect of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is recognizing self-criticism and judgments and cultivating self-compassion.  This is something most of our patients work on every day.  Recently, an article in the Huffington Post made a convincing case for why self-compassion is more effective and helpful than self-criticism.

Additionally, Dr. Kristin Neff, who is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion, speaks about three core components of self-compassion.  I hope this article and YouTube video help to motivate us all to question how effective our own self-criticism has been and to consider including more self-compassion into our lives.  

Don’t Wreck Your Marriage!

Posted by Cindy Finch, LCSW in Benefits of DBT


Dear Reader,

If you want to gain valuable tools to grow a strong marriage, save a failing one, and possibly avoid a divorce, then read on as I share what couples can do to make or break their relationships...

Marriage Wrecker

Don’t Grow Up Emotionally

If you’re not going to grow up, you will wreck your marriage. In a therapy session, if one partner says, “I feel like I have an extra child because I am married to this person,” it is likely that this partner has failed to grow up emotionally. You’d be surprised to know how many highly successful adults in the business and professional world are actually emotional infants. Emotionally immature people:

  • Look for others to take care of them
  • Take disagreements personally
  • Are only happy when things go their way
  • Quickly unravel when disappointment, stress, or tragedy enter the picture

Peace is a Choice

Posted by Dana Conley, M.A., C.Ht. in Benefits of DBT


"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart." (Unknown)

The unknown individual, to whom this quote is attributed, had a great perspective about what "please" means. I imagine they knew how to get to that place of peace within them and what it meant to be calm in their heart.

What does it mean to be calm in your heart? How do you get to that place within you amidst the noise, trouble, and hard work around you?

To me, being calm in my heart is an experience of INNER PEACE. When I am calm in my heart, I feel peaceful. It also means to be OK with what is... That means being OK with what is happening around me, what is happening to me, and what is happening within me – and doing so without judging anything as bad or wrong, noisy or hard.


Making Sense of Borderline Personality Disorder

Posted by Dr. Michele Lob PsyD., MFT, CEDS in Benefits of DBT

After the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Dr. Marsha Linehan, acknowledged her own struggle with BPD in an article in the New York Times in 2011, she brought greater attention and understanding to what is endured by people who have this diagnosis.  When a patient is challenging and resistant to therapists’ suggestions, they are often labeled as having BPD. This stigma teaches a person to think of themselves as a hopeless victim, with inescapable character traits that make them feel angry, unlovable, empty, and helpless.

I personally don’t like the diagnosis of BPD because of the negative connotation the label suggests.  Instead, I prefer to view this as a struggle with emotion regulation, hypersensitivity, and lack of skillfulness in dealing with inner and outer personal struggles.  As Linehan argues, a more accurate name for this condition is “emotion dysregulation disorder.” 


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