Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Mountain Valley’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Groups Utilize a Structured Curriculum to Develop Specific Skill Sets

Dialectical refers to merging of opposing concepts. In DBT, the main dialectic is between the concepts of acceptance and change. Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance skills address acceptance; it is through radical acceptance of where we currently are that we are then able to clearly evaluate changes that need to be made. Emotional Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness skills are taught to empower residents and teach them how to implement change. DBT is a form of therapy that utilizes a structured curriculum to develop skills in the following areas: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Mindfulness is the act of being fully present in the moment – being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Mindfulness empowers residents to be in control of themselves and assists in emotional regulation.

Distress Tolerance skills address the propensity of some individuals to experience uncomfortable emotions as overwhelming. People with a low tolerance for distress can become overwhelmed when faced with relatively low levels of stress, and may respond with negative behaviors. Distress Tolerance teaches that there will be times when pain is unavoidable, and how to find meaning, acceptance, and tolerate distress.

Emotional Regulation teaches residents how to manage emotions that are perceived as negative in an appropriate and reasonable manner. Through emotional regulation skills, residents also learn how to decrease emotional suffering and increase positive experiences.

Interpersonal Effectiveness teaches residents how to effectively communicate with others, and how to communicate in a way that will increase the likelihood that you will be listened to and have your needs met. Interpersonal effectiveness also addresses how to create and maintain healthy relationships, increase self-respect, and understand and create healthy boundaries in relationships.

In Mountain Valley’s DBT skills group, residents are taught the aforementioned skills in a setting that combines lecture type teaching and group discussion with examples of how to implement these skills in scenarios that are relevant to them.

Although often combined with individual therapy, a two-hour DBT skills groups is provided bi-weekly.

Email Jen Fullerton in the Admissions Office for further information.