Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) | Behavioral Therapy & 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:

DBT treatment includes clear, easy-to-remember DBT skills that you’ll learn in weekly skills group therapy sessions. Our therapists will also relate to you in an accepting, validating manner and help you to maintain motivation to move forward.

For General Inquires Contact Us Here

Get Free Consultation

MM slash DD slash YYYY
Suffolk DBT Favicon
SUFFOLK DBT

New York DBT Therapy

Get A Free Mental Health Screening Today!

Speak With A Licensed Mental Health Specialist

Our Approaches

DBT For Children

Are you raising a sensitive child who is often overwhelmed by intense emotions? Do their anger, sadness, fear and boredom frequently translate into outbursts, withdrawal, anxiety attacks, impulsive behavior and conflict? If your child is struggling to cope with their emotions, they might have difficulty focusing or following the rules in school.

DBT For Teens

Are you the parent of a teenager who is struggling at school or at home? Does your teenager have trouble regulating their emotions? Do you have a sense that they are not reaching their full potential? Perhaps your teen is struggling with a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder.

DBT For Adults

Are you looking for emotional support to regulate thoughts and behaviors that are causing you to struggle in life? Have you tried other therapeutic approaches and feel you weren’t able to acquire the skills you needed for lasting change? Perhaps you’ve benefited from talk therapy in the past, but now you need new options to take your life to the next level.

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. Lineman 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? DBT is often used to treat borderline personality disorder and the theory which forms the basis of this DBT treatment states that many of the problems we experience stem from our emotional vulnerability and difficulty in regulating our intense emotional responses. If your biological makeup leads you to struggle with your emotions, you can develop difficulties in many areas of your life. Some of these difficulties may be manifested in behaviors such as suicide attempts, acting impulsively, addictions, self-harm such as cutting and eating disorders. Sometimes you struggle with your thoughts, for example, suicidal thoughts, cognitive distortions and confusion. You may also find yourself struggling with feelings of emptiness or self-hatred or you may have difficulties in your relationships, such as being involved in enmeshed, co-dependent, abusive or avoidance relationships, or having fears of abandonment.  These problems can also be made worse when your emotions are invalidated, discounted, shamed, or criticized by others.

There are different components of DBT Skills including: individual therapy sessions, skills group training sessions and between-session phone coaching. 

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 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.

treat anxiety disorder treatment for teen

Ready to speak with a licensed Mental Health Specialist?

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.

We currently offer the following groups:

  • Adolescent skills groups – weekly
  • Adult skills groups – weekly
  •  Multi-family groups – weekly

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 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.

Ready to speak with a licensed Mental Health Specialist?