4 parts to DBT Treatment

DBT is, simply, a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) adaptation that is used to treat an array of disorders and has been found to have the highest effectiveness with those who struggle with symptoms from borderline personality disorder. 


DBT was developed in the late 1980's by Marsha Linehan when  CBT alone was not working for her clients.   Linehan developed her treatment around "dialectics."    Dialectics is a thought process of opposites and assumes behavior change when one  force is stronger than the opposing force.  Think of arm wrestling.  When your opponent is strong, has more force, they will win the "battle" until you become stronger than the opponent.    Linehan's method also includes, rather than excludes, external factors that people have in their lives (kids, jobs, coworkers, housing problems, etc.).    Dialectics also bases its framework upon that fact that change is inevitable.  However, the same framework encourages people to accept themselves and others as they are while acknowledging that changes might need to be made.      DBT attempts to build skills to facilitate the needed changes, as it also assumes that clients want to change but lack the skills and knowledge to facilitate change on their own. 



According to the Linehan Board of Certification DBT's purpose includes the following:

1. Enhance skills

2. Help facilitate client's want to change and engagement in process

3.  Assist with behavior change

4. Help therapists remain motivated and effective

5. Assist client with changes their environment, in order to make that environment supportive of changes.


Full description can be found at the Linehan Board of Certification website here: https://dbt-lbc.org/index.php?page=101119

Want More Information?

More information can be found at:

Behavioral Tech

DBT-Linehan Board of Certification

The Linehan Institute

Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC), University of Washington

Behavioral Tech Research


The above links are all organizations that Marsha Linehan, the developer of DBT is involved with and founded or helped found.


I do not get any "kickback" or financial reward from any of these organizations.  This page is simply informational.


ALL DBT CONTENT belongs to Marsha Linehan and company.  This is merely MY summary of DBT.  If you need more information please visit these websites.  I am not an expert.  I am merely working my way toward certification (some day).


DBT or Dilectical Behavior Therapy is explained by the Linehan Board HERE. 





Sandstone Counseling Services, LLC

During treatment clients can expect the following:


Individual therapy - one on one therapy with a licensed (or in-training) practitioner where goals are set and skills are put in to place.


Skills Training - Client participates in a weekly skills group in order to build skills in the following areas:

    Core Mindfulness ~ to help client focus on the here and now without judgment or "attachment"

    Interpersonal Effectiveness ~ to help client work on more effective communication, relationship building, and "balancing and accepting change within relationships"

    Emotion Regulation ~  to help client regulate strong emotions more effectively

    Distress Tolerance ~ to help client learn to tolerate and accepting problems in their lives that cause them distress

*SCS offers this group on Thursday nights from 6:15-8:15 at the SCS office, please call for availability, must have therapist authorization


Phone Coaching - access to their DBT therapist for a brief amount of time, when in crisis, in order to help the client utilize DBT skills in day-to-day life.


Therapist Consultation Team - Therapist participate in a weekly consultation group with other DBT therapist to assist one another with treatment of clients, adherence to treatment model, and sharing of new DBT information.

*SCS offers this group to therapists on Fridays at noon, at the SCS office


More about this can be found on the above website or in Linehan's books "DBT Skills Training Manual" (for therapists) or "DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets" (for clients).  Both books can be purchased in multiple platforms on multiple websites.