How to Find a DBT Therapist?
DBT is a highly specialized treatment that requires extensive training, ongoing education, and a team of other DBT-trained clinicians for a provider to collaborate with. This specialization means that there are far fewer DBT therapists than there are general therapists. Additionally, due to the time, energy, and cost of providing DBT services, many therapists with this specialization do not participate with insurance companies.
Although it can be challenging to find a highly trained DBT therapist, you are currently learning the key things to look for in your search. You may want to start with your primary care physician to seek out any suggestions. Additionally, if you have seen other therapists in the past, they may be able to refer you to someone who specializes in DBT techniques.
Additionally, The Linehan Board of Certification provides a public database to identify mental health clinicians who are trained in and offer dialectical behavior therapy. The DBT-LBC certification is the only one endorsed by Dr. Marsha Linehan herself, the creator of DBT. It has been highly researched and relies only on measurable criteria to assess clinician skills.
Many clinicians have attended a one- or two-day training in DBT and consider themselves trained. This is confusing for clients who believe that they are getting a comprehensive treatment plan and become disheartened when the therapy either does not meet their expectations or it does not decrease the problematic behavior(s).
At Suffolk DBT, we are committed to comprehensive DBT, given the ongoing research and effectiveness of DBT. We know that adherence matters in the most significant cases. While the majority of clients would likely find DBT-informed therapy helpful, those struggling with more severe concerns often require more intensive and comprehensive DBT.
DBT-informed therapists—with certification that is not through the Linehan board—should be transparent with their clients to ensure that the client understands what treatment they are truly receiving. We frequently have new clients who believed that they had already been receiving DBT – and we, unfortunately, find out that that was not the case.
When DBT is not done as designed by Dr. Linehan, the results may not be effective and could result in an individual losing hope for their future. Thankfully, once at Suffolk DBT, they quickly find out what it’s supposed to look like with us!
We are listed as a DBT referral on Behavioral Tech, founded by Marsha Linehan.