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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) & DBT Group Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specialized cognitive-behavioral therapy that combines individual therapy with skills group training sessions to help people manage emotions and navigate life’s difficulties. Psychological disorders in which people suffer from high levels of emotional vulnerability, leading to them seeking DBT treatment include: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Major depression, Bipolar disorders, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Eating disorders, Anxiety disorders, Addictions including alcohol, drugs, gambling, and sex.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy on Long island

Weekly Individual DBT Sessions

In Individual DBT treatment, you will work toward establishing a committed, collaborative working relationship with your mental health specialist/therapist. You will have opportunities to discuss things such as struggles you have with your mood, problematic behaviors and thinking patterns, interpersonal issues, the impact of traumatic events from your past and your goals for the future.

You will be encouraged to fill out a weekly “Diary Card,” which is an easy-to-use self-monitoring chart on which you will take note of the urges, behaviors, emotions, and skills that are part of your life each day. These are discussed in sessions with your therapist so you can gain a better understanding of them, identify your patterns, and develop more effective ways of increasing skillful behaviors and decreasing unskillful ones. Your individual therapist will also work with you to anticipate and deal with times when you may struggle in motivating yourself to make important changes in your life.

Weekly DBT Skills Training

Skills groups usually start out with a mindfulness practice, followed by a review of the skills homework from the previous week, and discussion of a new skill that can be tried out over the course of the following week. Members of our DBT skills groups also get the benefit of having a positive structured peer experience in which they can feel less alone with their problems, get encouragement and support, and receive feedback from others about how to apply skills to their own life stressors.

Members are encouraged to learn and master the five DBT skills modules outlined below: core mindfulness skills, distress tolerance skills, emotion regulation skills, interpersonal effectiveness skills, and middle path skills.

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What Makes DBT Therapy Different?

Mindfulness skills, which are drawn from Eastern meditation practices, emphasize the importance of being in the moment, observing, and focusing attention, which in turn can help you to regulate emotions and impulses effectively. These skills also emphasize increased awareness of yourself and your environment, which helps to improve self-monitoring, maintain a sense of reality, see things more clearly, and make effective decisions.

Distress tolerance skills are tools to cope with crisis situations and high levels of stress and emotion. This module offers many suggestions for different actions you can take and different ways you can think about your situation so that you can deal with it more effectively.

Emotion regulation skills are designed to give you the ability to better identify, validate, and express your emotions. This module provides information about the nature of emotions, their functions, and their consequences. You will also learn how to better understand your emotions, reduce your emotional vulnerability, and decrease your emotional suffering.

Interpersonal effectiveness skills can help you to improve your relationships with others. You will learn techniques for solving interpersonal problems; managing conflict; setting effective boundaries; assertively expressing your needs, opinions, and preferences; keeping good relationships, and maintaining self-respect.

Middle path skills help people learn to avoid black and white thinking, a thinking style associated with being overly emotional and to change that thinking with a more reasonable middle ground, a thinking style associated with calmness, peace, and wise decision-making.

Between-Sessions Phone Coaching Although you will be learning skills in the context of your individual and skills group therapy treatment, communicating with your therapist between sessions can help you learn how to apply skills in real life situations when you are feeling stuck. Phone, text, or email consultation between sessions with the primary therapist is encouraged in DBT to help with this skills generalization. The availability of your primary therapist after office hours can be negotiated as part of your treatment.

DBT Consultation Team

All of our Suffolk DBT mental health clinicians meet together on a weekly basis to discuss our clients in a treatment team meeting format. We are able to receive feedback from each other that allows us to provide you with the best DBT treatment possible. Our goal is to maintain adherence to DBT principles, DBT skills and to offer caring, compassionate, competent and effective therapy to all of our clients.

Most clients who enter our Long Island DBT treatment are asked to make a one-year commitment to attend both individual therapy and skills group training. Adolescent clients are asked to commit for 6 months of DBT treatment. In the one year of treatment for adults or 6 months for adolescents, hard work from both the client and the therapist is likely to result in significant improvement in clients overall functioning. We are here to support you online or at our Long Island or Manhattan cognitive behavioral therapy locations.

We currently offer the following groups:

What’s the story behind DBT Therapy?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) was developed on Long Island, New York in the 1980s by Dr. Marsha Linehan. Dr Linehan was doing graduate work at Stony Brook, when she realized that a strictly behavioral approach to therapy did not work with certain clients who feared and struggled with change. But when she switched to a purely acceptance-based approach, she realized that this did not work either because clients were unhappy and needed to take steps towards improving their lives.

Dr. Linehan decided to create a behavioral therapy that drew from several different schools of thought including cognitive behavioral therapy, which emphasizes changing thoughts and behaviors, and Eastern meditation practices, which emphasizes a mindful, acceptance-based approach. Delicately balancing this dialectic of acceptance and change became the basis of Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

So what is DBT Therapy?

If you can relate to some or most of the above statements, Dialectical Behavior Therapy for teens, adults or children may be the most effective treatment for you or your family. Meeting with a DBT therapist for an intake session is often the best way of determining if you can benefit from DBT. If you are interested in making an appointment, please call us at (631) 828-2264 for a free consultation. We are here to support you online or at our Long Island or Manhattan cognitive behavioral therapy locations. Suffolk DBT proudly provides quality dialectical behavior therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy. Their experienced therapists specialize in serving teens, children, adults, and college students struggling with depression, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and self-harm. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills and treatment can help you or your kids to manage emotions and work through life’s challenges. Suffolk DBT offers DBT Skills Programs for middle schoolers and outpatient eating disorder programs in Manhattan and Long Island, New York at their offices in Nassau County and Suffolk County.

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