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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence based treatment developed to help people learn new skills and strategies to strategies to cope with stress, regulate emotions and improve relationships with others.


DBT treatment is based on cognitive, behavioral and dialectic principles. A DBT intensive out patient program involves weekly individual therapy, weekly group sklls training, telephone coaching, and consultation for the therapist.

Individual therapy

Individual therapy is focused on improving client motivation and ability to replace behaviors that don’t work with skillful responses that help the person meet their goals. Individual theraply includes:
  • Identify and treat behaviors that create problems for the individual
  • DBT telephone assistance is available 24 hours per day/7 days a week
  • Help with managing crisises and life-threatening behaviors.

Group skills training

DBT group skills training helps clients by teaching behavioral skills that can be applied to life challenges, such as:
  • Mindfulness—how to be fully aware in the moment
  • Interpersonal effectiveness—how to get what you need while maintaining self respect and relationships
  • Emotion regulation—how to change the emotions that clients want to change
  • Distress tolerance—how to tolerate emotions in difficult situations.

Eligible recipients

DBT is for adults, 18 or older, who have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or have multiple mental health diagnosises with impulsive, self harm or severe dysfunction in multiple life areas that cannot be met with other community based services. Receipents are also at risk for hospitalization, self harm, risky impulsive behavior, chronic suicidal thoughts or a mental health crisis.

Mental health at DHS

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is dedicated to supporting adults, children and youth with a mental illness in their personal journey toward recovery, as well as preventing mental illness whenever possible.

People with mental illness have the same rights as anyone. DHS is committed to making sure individual choice is respected and that people with mental illness are able to live, learn, work, and enjoy life in their community to the best of their ability.

DHS oversees a number of publicly funded programs offering community-based mental health services, creating a continuum of services designed to meet the needs of individuals.

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