Mission Statement


Mission Statement

At DBT Center of Orange County, we are dedicated to providing patients, families, and partners with comprehensive DBT and other evidenced-based therapies in a warm, nonjudgmental, collaborative and culturally-informed environment. We meet patients where they are, accept their challenges AND offer them tools to change and build a Life Worth Living.

What Is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan. DBT addresses problems with emotional reactivity and teaches acceptance and change strategies of certain thought patterns and behaviors that interfere in building a Life Worth Living.

Comprehensive DBT has four modes of treatment delivery:

  1. Individual therapy
  2. Skills training
  3. Phone coaching
  4. DBT consultation team for clinicians

It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and skills training groups to help individuals learn and utilize new skills to develop a ‘Life Worth Living’. DBT skills focus on the following areas: Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. DBT is widely recognized as the gold standard clinical treatment for suicidality and self-harm and has been found to be effective for treating addictions, eating disorders and various mental health conditions involving emotional dysregulation.

Why Choose Us?

At DBT Center of Orange County we offer a comprehensive and informed DBT dependent on the patient’s needs. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidenced-based behavioral treatment, which means there is research to prove its effectiveness.

Other evidence-based therapies offered at DBT Center of Orange County include:


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an extensively researched and highly effective psychotherapy method proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders.

EMDR therapy does not require talking in detail about the distressing issue or completing homework between sessions. EMDR therapy, rather than focusing on changing the emotions, thoughts, or behaviors resulting from the distressing issue, allows the brain to resume its natural healing process.

EMDR therapy is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain. For many patients, EMDR therapy can be completed in fewer sessions than other psychotherapies.

While many times traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, many may not be processed without help. Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create feelings of overwhelm, of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved.

Numerous national and international organizations recognize EMDR therapy as an effective treatment. Amon them, the American Psychiatric Association, the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the World Health Organization as well as many others.


Trauma-Focused, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) is an evidenced based practice treatment designed to support children, adolescents, and their parents overcome the impact of traumatic events. These traumatic events may include, but are not limited to, sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, an unexpected death of a loved one, and community violence. TF-CBT treatment typically lasts between 12 to 16 sessions and these sessions consist of individual sessions for the child/adolescents, individual sessions for parent, and conjoint sessions between child/adolescent and parents.  Numerous studies have indicated that TF-CBT is more effective in supporting children and adolescents overcome trauma than other therapeutic interventions.

TF-CBT treatment is focused on assisting children and adolescents learn that the trauma is not their fault and that they are not the only one who have survived a similar traumatic event, identify feelings and learn how to manage them, learn how to relax and tolerate trauma reminders, learn how to replace negative thoughts with more helpful thoughts, and learn strategies to increase/enhance safety.

An important goal in treatment is to provide the child/adolescent an opportunity to discuss details about the trauma in a supportive and nurturing environment.  In developing his or her trauma narrative the child’s brain begins to replace traumatic memories with more helpful thoughts about the trauma. Overtime, these powerful traumatic reminders begin to lose their impact on the child and become less frequent.  At the end of trauma-focused treatment, some children/adolescents not only are able to overcome their traumatic event but also thrive and excel in their lives post-treatment.


Family-based Therapy (FBT) also known as the Maudsley approach, is a manualized specific treatment that seeks to avoid hospitalization by actively engaging parents in the process of restoring their adolescent to a healthy weight at home. Family-based treatment (FBT) is one of the most successful treatments for eating disorders in children and adolescents with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED). Family-based Therapy relies on family involvement to support nutritional and emotional goals while under the watchful supervision of a trained clinician.

  • Typical length of treatment is 15 – 20 sessions to include
  • Parent support and education
  • Establish strategies to support weight restoration and nutritional stabilization
  • Assist adolescent to explore his/her identity and assume age-appropriate responsibilities

DBT-PTSD is a comprehensive multicomponent treatment that focuses specifically on the treatment of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with and without the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD; also known as complex trauma disorder) is a psychological disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape. This kind of trauma is combined with what is known as “traumatic invalidation”. In other words, the trauma is frequent and repeated, is experienced as inescapable and either cannot be shared due to threat or perceived threat to self or loved ones and/or the abuse is shared, and it is not believed.

Based on the principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), DBT-PTSD utilizes trauma-specific cognitive and skills-assisted exposure-based techniques and interventions to improve acceptance as well as compassion for self and others.

It has been developed for and tested in both a three-month residential treatment and a 12-month outpatient program and has been found to be effective in the treatment of Complex PTSD.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing the automatic negative thoughts that can contribute to and worsen emotional difficulties, depression, and anxiety. These spontaneous negative thoughts have a detrimental influence on mood.

Through CBT, these thoughts are identified, challenged, and replaced with more objective, realistic thoughts. CBT is focused on using a wide range of strategies to help people identify and overcome maladaptive thought patterns. Such strategies may include journaling, role-playing, relaxation techniques, and mental distractions.

Joint Commission and Health Organization

We are proud to be an accredited JCAHO program. The Joint Commission Behavioral Healthcare Accreditation is an independent, not-for-profit group in the United States that demands a specific standard of quality and ethics in behavioral healthcare treatment. This accreditation is synonymous with ensuring quality of patient care with focus on patient safety and treatment. The fact that the DBT Center of Orange County has met the rigorous standards required for JCAHO accreditation reflects that our major goal is to deliver a “gold-standard” of best practices to all our patients.