What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Do you or your child have frequent suicidal thoughts?

Does life sometimes feel overwhelming and hopeless?

Have you used unhealthy habits like self harming or disordered eating to cope with your pain?

Do you often feel alone or struggle with relationships?

If any of this sounds familiar, Dialectical Behavior Therapy may be able to help. Through this unique type of counseling, you will not only take a closer look at the causes of these problems but will learn very specific skills to help improve your interpersonal relationships, tolerate distress, regulate your emotions and find/create meaning in your life.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) helps people who may have experienced one or more of the following:

  • Live chaotic and painful lives
  • Frequent suicidal thoughts
  • Have difficulty in relationships
  • Feel emptiness and pain
  • Feel out of control of their behavior
  • Self harm through cutting, burning or other destructive behaviors
  • Feel depressed a lot 
  • Multiple hospitalizations and failed treatment experiences

Through this treatment program, people learn skills to:

  • Stay in treatment
  • Reduce self-harming behaviors
  • Build a life worth living
  • Stay out of the psychiatric hospital
  • Improve relationships with family and friends
  • Decrease conflict
  • Decrease suicidal thoughts
  • Improve family functioning
  • Reduce disordered eating behaviors

Comprehensive DBT includes four components:

  • Weekly individual therapy for one hour
  • Weekly 2 hour group skills training
  • Phone calls with your therapist as needed to help you use the skills
  • Your therapist participates in a Consultation Team every week

Blog Posts About DBT Skills

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Resources

Clients are often referred to DBT due to the seriousness of their self harm, suicidal thoughts, eating disorder or troubles with relationships. However, DBT is more than a suicide prevention program.  It is an evidence based mental health treatment that will help you create a life worth living.

Learn more about DBT Columbia, the program that Jessica & Ben participate in and through which we offer DBT skills training groups here: www.dbtcolumbia.com

Learn more about DBT and find resources here: https://behavioraltech.org/resources/resources-for-clients-families

Additional self help DBT resources can be found here: https://www.dbtselfhelp.com/index.html

This article about the founder of Dialectical Behavior Therapy gives some insight into her own struggle with emotional dysregulation and suicidal thoughts that inspired the creation of DBT.


Suicidal thoughts, cutting and feeling hopeless are all scary to the one experiencing them and loved ones.  Know that there is hope.  Good treatment helps.  Things can get better.

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