The DBT Modality

What is DBT?

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy . DBT is a type of therapy that teaches practical coping skills and explores each person’s patterns that lead to problem behaviors. DBT has been proven effective to help people of all ages suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, emotion dysregulation, substance abuse, and eating disorders. In my opinion, any person can benefit from learning these vital skills — I joke that we should be teaching these in the first grade.

What does DBT Therapy Look Like?

If you are looking for a concrete way to change problem behaviors or simply become more accepting of yourself, I recommend DBT. DBT is a form of psychotherapy that teaches skills of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. To do DBT by the model, you have to be in weekly individual therapy, a weekly DBT skills group, using skills coaching, and your therapist has to be on a consultation team. You have to commit to at least six months of doing all of these, even when you don’t want to. DBT model is proven effective, as shown by numerous randomized controlled trials.

The goal is not to just do another therapy and hope it works. The whole goal of DBT is to have a Life Worth Living.

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My Experience As a DBT Therapist

I first learned DBT during my internship at a private practice from an incredible clinician who had been doing DBT since the 90s. I co-led several groups with her and learned how to do individual DBT skills training.

After my Master’s in Social Work, I worked for two and a half years at a residential psychiatric facility as a DBT Primary Counselor. I received my DBT training from Dr. Linehan’s Training Institute, Behavioral Tech.

I then worked as an associate at Lullwater Counseling received and continue to receive incredible supervision of my DBT practice from one of the foremost DBT therapists, Dr. Tara Arnold, LCSCW. I am currently in a consultation team with Dr. Arnold.

My goal is to continue providing evidence-based, validating, and empowering DBT to Atlantan teens and adults. I lead two DBT skills groups per week alongside my phenomenal DBT group co-leader, Karen Cleveland-Ward, LMSW.

Being a DBT clinician is a lifestyle. You have to live and breathe the skills to truly do this work. I am grateful I have a DBT tribe so that we can support one another, alleviate others suffering, and use the skills ourselves.