What to Expect

The first step in determining if DBT is appropriate for you is to set up an initial intake assessment by making a call to our Center at (949) 480-7767. Our Patient Services Representative will schedule an intake assessment for you or your loved one. This is usually a 90-minute session during which time a detailed intake will gather pertinent information and history to determine if DBT is the appropriate course of treatment and treatment recommendations will be made. During this time, you or your loved one will also receive orientation to the model of DBT.

DBT Skills Training is not group therapy. At the beginning of every 1.5hr group, patients are invited to share about practicing skills and this leads into an informational lecture and teaching of skills in a structured environment.

Individual 50-minute DBT sessions require patients to self-monitor their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors by using a diary card which is then processed with their therapist. The goal of individual sessions is to bring about greater awareness of triggers, behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and actions, in order to elicit change strategies.

DBT is supportive. The DBT clinician supports you in your attempts to decrease problem behaviors, such as self-destructive behaviors, substance use and aggression. Clinicians help you recognize positive strengths and attributes and encourage you to develop and use these.

DBT is behavioral. The skills group and therapy sessions focus on teaching you to analyze problem behavior patterns and to replace destructive behaviors with healthy and effective behaviors.

DBT is cognitive. The therapy and group focuses on changing beliefs, expectations, and assumptions that are no longer effective or helpful. The clinician will help you notice and challenge all or nothing thinking and tendencies to be over judgmental.

DBT is skills oriented. Structured skills training is designed to teach new skills and enhance capabilities.

DBT balances acceptance and change. The treatment is focused on both accepting you and the difficulties of your current situation as well as helping you to make changes. It has specific strategies designed to increase your ability to accept and tolerate painful feelings, your current life situation, and yourself. It will also expect you to learn new skills, try different ways of behaving and interacting with others and be committed to making changes.

DBT requires a collaborative relationship. In DBT it is important that you and your therapist function as a team to achieve goals. It is essential that all team members (i.e. you, therapist, groups therapist, psychiatrist etc.) work on communication and collaboration to make progress.