What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Welcome to the global DBT community! Training as a DBT therapist is training to save and change lives. It is not for the faint-hearted, AND it is life-changing for both client and therapist. In these ten short videos, journey through the world of DBT and find out if becoming a DBT therapist is right for you.

For those searching for therapy or support, please know that this page is geared towards therapists, but it will be informative to you, too. And, at the end, we have resources specifically for you.

Components of DBT

DBT has four primary modes of treatment delivery. This is different than many other psychotherapies that consist of just one mode or aspect of treatment, such as individual therapy. In this video, learn how each mode of treatment delivery is intended to meet a specific function.

Take a deeper dive into each mode of DBT:

  1. Individual Psychotherapy
  2. DBT Skills Training
  3. In-the-Moment Phone Coaching
  4. DBT Consultation Teams for Therapists

What is the “D” in DBT?

The “D” means “dialectical.” A dialectic is a synthesis or integration of opposites. In DBT, dialectical strategies help both the therapist and the client get unstuck from extreme positions. In this video, learn how dialectical strategies keep the therapy in balance and help clients reach their ultimate goals as quickly as possible.

Here, you can take a deeper dive into one of the key dialectics in DBT: balancing acceptance and change.

What is the “B” in DBT?

The “B” stands for “behavioral.” DBT requires a behavioral approach. This means that we assess the situations and target behaviors that are relevant to our clients’ goals in order to figure out how to solve the problems in their lives. Learn how DBT provides you a path to get the change that your clients so desperately need to see.

Learn how to pull apart and rebuild behaviors to help clients achieve their goals in our online course DBT Chain Analysis online training.

New to Behavior Therapy principles? Learn the basics from Marsha Linehan.

What is the Science behind DBT?

DBT is an evidence-based therapy. Learn more about how a scientific stance keeps the field of DBT advancing forward and how it can inform interactions with clients.

Learn more about the core research behind DBT and emerging studies in our DBT research section.

Core Assumptions of DBT

DBT makes a number of assumptions that underlie all components of the treatment. These assumptions allow DBT therapists to see clients in the best possible light. Learn about these assumptions and why they are so important.

Becoming a DBT Therapist

Now, meet DBT therapists who share how they heard about DBT. Learn what you can expect as you start your  journey.

DBT will transform you and your practice. In this video, therapists share what is unique about DBT.

Now, hear more about how the DBT consultation team will become a family-like community of professionals who support you in providing a life-saving treatment.

At this point, you’ve been introduced to the DBT community and what it means to be a DBT therapist. You understand the life impact of DBT for both your clients and yourself. We close with a recap of what you’ve learned and encouragement as you consider your next steps.

Are you ready to dive into DBT training? We have multiple pathways, both online and in person, to help you meet your specific DBT needs.

DBT Resources for Families and Patients

For families and patients seeking DBT information or treatment, we have resources tailored for families and clients.