What is DBT?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy treatment created by Dr Marsha Linehan.

DBT helps people learn to manage crisis and other very distressing situations without making things worse.   It also helps people learn to effectively regulate their emotions and improve their interpersonal relationships so that they can begin to create a life worth living for themselves, even if right now that seems like a distant or even unobtainable dream.

DBT has proven effective in treating a range of mental health conditions including borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety and substance abuse.   Research also tells us that it is effective for clients who have been diagnosed with multiple conditions.

DBT in conjunction with Prolonged Exposure therapy is effective for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as complex diagnoses such as post-traumatic stress disorder with borderline personality disorder.

What is evidence-based DBT?

There are many services that offer DBT informed programs and activities.  While these programs can be cheaper and may not take as long to complete, they are often not evidence-based.

To be evidence-based, a program needs to be backed by scientific research.  If you want to maximise your chances of getting well and building a life worth living, it may be important to choose an evidence-based DBT program.

What is comprehensive or standard DBT?

Comprehensive DBT, also called standard DBT, is an evidence-based DBT program and is considered the gold standard of DBT treatment.

When you are in a comprehensive DBT program it means that you are receiving DBT skills training once a week, individual DBT therapy once a week, and phone coaching in between sessions.  Your therapist and skills trainer are participating in weekly DBT Consultation Group meetings with other DBT trained therapists to ensure the best possible care for clients.  It also means that your therapist has been intensively trained and successfully completed a training course called Foundational DBT.

What is DBT skills training?

The focus of DBT skills training is to help you learn new skills within a classroom setting.   Four modules are covered during the skills training:

  • Mindfulness:

Mindfulness skills help you to be more aware of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations and more focused on living in the present moment rather than worrying about the past or the future.

  • Distress Tolerance:

Distress tolerance helps you to respond to a crisis or other stressful situations without making things worse.  Sometimes this requires the ability to tolerate intense unpleasant emotions and this module helps you grow that ability.

  • Emotion Regulation:

Emotion regulation skills help you to influence which emotions you have, when you have them and how you experience and express them.

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness:

Interpersonal effectiveness means the ability to effectively ask for what you want, build healthy interpersonal relationships, and also maintain your self-respect.

 What is Individual DBT Therapy?

Initially DBT individual therapy will focus on understanding what it is that will make your life worth living.  Once your goals are in place DBT individual therapy will focus on helping you stay motivated and learn how to apply your DBT skills in all areas of your life.  During each session your DBT therapist will address your most pressing needs whether it be a mood issue, suicide or self-harm concerns, work or family problems or something else.

 What is Phone Coaching?

Phone coaching lets you call your therapist between sessions if you need.  It is designed to help you strengthen your skills and learn to effectively cope with difficult everyday life situations in your own home, educational, work or other environment.

 What are Consultation Group meetings?

Consultation group meetings support DBT therapists and skills trainers to stay motivated, constantly improve their skills and provide the best possible treatment to clients.

What do I need to look for when choosing a DBT therapist?

In order to offer evidence-based DBT, DBT therapists need to have completed DBT intensive training.  They also need to participate in weekly DBT Consultation Team meetings to ensure they are always developing themselves and are able to provide the best possible care for clients.

Can Yentle offer me a comprehensive DBT program

Yes.  If you are assessed as suitable for our comprehensive DBT program and you would like to work with us we will offer you a space on our next available intake.  Yentle’s DBT program runs over the course of one year and includes weekly individual therapy, weekly skills training group, and access to your therapist through between session DBT phone coaching.

At Yentle we also have a team of committed and trained DBT therapists who offer our comprehensive DBT program.  Our DBT therapists and skills trainers meet weekly as a DBT Consultation Team.

All of our DBT therapists have completed Intensive DBT training and our DBT skills trainers have completed Dr Linehan’s skills training module as well as additional in-house training.

Happy couple

How does Yentle’s comprehensive DBT program work?

Intake assessment: 3 Sessions (2 hours for the first session followed by two one hour sessions during office hours)

Skills training group: Monday 7pm – 9pm (48 weeks – you will complete each module twice)

Individual sessions: 1 Session per week (1 hour during office hours for 48 weeks)

Phone coaching: Call or text between sessions

What if I do not want comprehensive DBT or do not meet the criteria to access the program

At Yentle we provide a range of evidence-based psychological services for adults. We will work with you to find a therapeutic program to best meet your needs.

We also offer a DBT Skills Group as a stand-alone service for individuals who will benefit from DBT Skills but may not need comprehensive DBT.

What is DBT Skills Group only training

You may have some mental health concerns that are not serious enough to require comprehensive DBT.  There is evidence that DBT Skills Group only training is effective for a range of mental health concerns that are not as serious as those requiring comprehensive DBT.   If you elect to do DBT Skills Group only training and are accepted into one of our skills only training groups, you may still access counselling services as and when you need them.