My Approach to Helping
Are you ready to try Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to overcome a pattern of unstable relationships and reactive emotional outbursts?
Perhaps you have landed in the psychiatric hospital due to erratic behavior. Perhaps you have reached a point where things just are not working for you and you are ready to make a change.
Control these symptoms: Frantic attempts to prevent abandonment. Unstable relationships - alternating between "I love you" and "I hate you". Impulsive behavior such as binge eating, reckless driving, spending, substance use. Self-mutilation or suicidal thoughts/behavior. Mood swings. Anger that is out of control or inappropriate.
More Info About My Practice
DBT is unique from other therapies, and it offers some strategies and techniques that are not included in other therapy modalities. One of the key components of the therapy is the concept of dialectics. This means two opposite things that occur at the same time. The key dialectic in DBT is Acceptance vs. Change. This means that we accept things the way they are and we change things to make life better. Other common dialectics include Fun vs. Responsibility and Emotion Mind vs. Reasonable Mind. In the course of DBT, clients discover the dialectics in their lives and find their way to the middle path.
DBT was developed by Marsha Linehan in the early 1990's to treat clients who did not respond to other therapies. She discovered a skill deficit in these clients and she developed a therapy to teach the skills while promoting change.
These clients were not successful in traditional therapies since the therapies make assumptions that clients come to them with basic skills already. It would be like sending a first-grader to 4th grade. Fourth grade teachers have assumptions that their students already know how to read and write. If the student does not have those skills, then they really cannot be successful in learning the grade-level material.
DBT teaches all the necessary skills to lead a happy and meaningful life. Since people usually do not know what they do not know, it is strongly recommended to attend to entire skills group to fill the gaps in knowledge.
Most clients who seek a DBT program come from an invalidating environment. This environment can be one of abuse. However, it can also be from a normal, healthy family. Somehow the child just did not "fit" in the family. In such an environment, some key skills are often left unlearned.
My Role as a Therapist
A DBT Therapist is your partner on your journey toward a life worth living. You are in the driver's seat to decide your goals of therapy and how you will get there. You will find a validating environment and the assumption that you are doing the best you can.
A DBT therapist balances the key concepts of Acceptance vs. Change during their work with clients. The therapist does the dance of when to allow the client space in a non-judgmental environment and when to push the client.
DBT includes the following: DBT skills training group, individual (or family) therapy, and telephone phone coaching between sessions. If a program does not include these elements, it is not DBT.
DBT maintains certain assumptions about the clients:
1. People are doing the best they can; people also want to improve.
2. People need to try harder, do better, and be more motivated.
3. People may not have caused all of their problems - but they need to solve them anyway.
4. New behavior has to be learned in all relevant contexts.
5. All behaviors are caused. Changing the causes of behavior is more effective than judging the behaviors.