Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of talk-therapy and a modified form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It was developed by Marsha Linehan in the 1980s and has since been used to address a number of mental health concerns. The overall purpose of DBT is to “learn how to change your own behaviors, emotions, and thoughts that are linked to problems in living and are causing misery and distress,” (Linehan 2015). This includes:

  1. Developing and enhancing emotional and behavioral capabilities.
  2. Increasing motivation by reframing inhibitions and reinforcing contingencies.
  3. Assuring that new skills are able to be applied to “real-life.”

This kind of therapy focuses on adjusting client behaviors to increase quality-of-life. DBT also emphasizes strategies for communication, commitment, and structure.


What does “Dialectical” mean?

Dialectical, as related to DBT, means “two opposite ideas can be true at the same time, and when considered together, can create a new truth and a new way of viewing the situation. There is always more than one way to think about a situation.” DBT encourages a shift from “either/or” thinking to “both/and” thinking. For example, “this is really hard for me, and I’m going to keep trying.” (Rathus 2015).

Who does DBT help?

    DBT is designed to help those with:

  • Intense emotions
  • Impulsivity
  • Self-harm
  • Strong reactions during communication
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Unhealthy relationships
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • PTSD
  • Eating Disorders

Who doesn’t DBT help?

    DBT is not designed for those with:

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Active psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Violent history
  • Anti-Social Personality Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

When can I join?

New DBT clients are able to join group at the start of each new module – Adults can join the group the first 4 weeks of each new module, teens can join the first two weeks. All clients are required to have at least one individual session with the DBT therapist prior to joining the Skills Training Group.

To join DBT, clients are required to sign a contract that they will only see the DBT therapist for the duration of the program. Due to the highly structured methodology of DBT, having only one therapist for individual and DBT treatment ensures that there are limited conflicting approaches and that each session is a continuation of previous skill-building sessions. This contract does not apply to couples or family therapy.

Please also note that there is an attendance requirement. If you miss more than 4 individual or 4 group sessions consecutively, you will not be permitted to continue, and you will have to restart at the beginning of the next module.

Adult Group

Designed for clients ages 18+.

Group meetings are Fridays from 11 AM – 1 PM every week.

The group meets for 48 weeks total (approximately a 1 year commitment).


Adult DBT Flyer

Teen Group

Designed for clients ages 13-18.

Group meetings are Wednesdays from 6 PM – 8 PM every week.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) participation is mandatory.

The group meets for 24 weeks total

Teen DBT Flyer
DBT Skills Training Group
  • Learn new behavioral skills to gain control of intense emotions, increase awareness of self and others, and reduce unhelpful, impulsive behaviors.
  • Skills Training Group is run like a class, where group leaders teach skills and assign homework as a way for participants to apply skills in their everyday life.
  • Group meets on a weekly basis for 2 hours per week for the duration of the program.
Individual DBT Therapy
  • Enhances client motivation to apply skills in everyday life.
  • Weekly one hour individual appointments run in conjunction with Skills Training Group.
  • Reinforces skill use and helps increase positive quality-of-life behaviors.
Phone Coaching
  • Reinforce skill use in difficult life circumstances.
  • Increase the individual’s ability to manage stressful situations on their own.
call: 253.460.7248
email: hello@integratedtherapynw.com
fax: 253.564.4409
3560 Bridgeport Way W
Suite 2-C
University Place, WA 98466