Individual DBT therapy is based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and focuses on patient/therapist collaboration to determine what maladaptive behaviors are impeding the patient towards building their Life Worth Living. The individual 50-minute session focuses on creating greater awareness and enhancing motivation for patients to learn and generalize DBT skills to manage the challenges they face in their daily lives. Learning new coping skills, replacing unhealthy thinking, developing greater awareness of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions, and learning how to balance Acceptance and Change strategies, are important aspects of individual DBT therapy. Using diary cards to support greater self-understanding as well as working through Behavior Chain Analysis with their individual therapist, strengthens the patient’s awareness of their behaviors and helps facilitate alternate coping strategies.
Individual DBT Therapy includes Phone Coaching: Patients sign a Phone Coaching Agreement outlining the terms of phone coaching rules. Phone Coaching entitles the patient to contact their individual therapist in times of crisis to help facilitate skills around problematic behaviors.
Individual DBT Therapy includes Consultation Team: A DBT Consultation Team offers the treating therapist the necessary skills and support to maintain a high level of motivation and skillfulness.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is designed to effectively treat pervasive emotion dysregulation. DBT teams provide fellow therapist with the necessary support to maintain the high level of motivation and skillfulness needed for successful treatment. The team members also help each other stay in the DBT frame with adherence to the Linehan model that has been established as an evidence-based practice.
WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF A DBT CONSULTATION TEAM?
The typical DBT team has 6 to 8 members and meets for 60-90 minutes weekly or every 2 weeks. Members on a DBT team usually make two major commitments to each other. First, team members agree to participate in team meetings. Teams should clearly define the specifics of “participation” such as expectations about attendance, being on time, whether the therapist must carry individual DBT cases to be on the team, and so on. More importantly, teams should establish the general spirit behind agreeing to participate: to join the team means we agree to make every effort to increase our own and others’ effectiveness as DBT therapists. In other words, the purpose of a DBT consultation team is to help team members apply the principles of DBT, not an alternative treatment. This means that while working together in consultation team members strive to help each other develop adherence and competence with DBT rather than offer ideas or debates from alternative models. In essence, the team agrees, during the meeting, to speak a common language and work from a shared model, even if therapists on the team may use other treatment models in other contexts.