Does DBT Really Work?

"Your DBT classes have changed my life! It has helped me more than 10 years of traditional talk therapy. Thank you so much!"

"I've taken DBT before at other places but I didn't really understand the skills until now. You are amazing therapists and I can't thank you enough. You have changed my life."

"These skills really should be taught in school. I could have used them when times were the toughest. Thank you for doing this."

"Linnea and Ann are wonderful teachers. They are compassionate and warm and teach the skills in a way that helps me use them in my life every day. My only regret is that I didn't find out about this sooner."

What is DBT and How Can It Help Me?

How DBT Can Help

DBT is a therapeutic approach that helps people learn to regulate their emotions so they can have better relationships, handle crisis when they come up, make better decisions, and keep emotions in check.  It was developed 30 years ago and since then it's been shown to effectively treat a number of problems including depression, bipolar, anxiety, PTSD, caregiver burnout, relationship problems, substance use and of course borderline personality disorder.  We believe that DBT can help EVERY SINGLE PERSON and have found it incredibly helpful in my own life.  No one can teach DBT unless they use it in their own lives, and we do.

DBT consists of attending a skills group once and week and participating in individual therapy. In group you will learn mindfulness, crisis management skills, relationship and communication skills, understanding your emotions and how to managing those emotions so they don't rule your life, even when times get tough.

We've all experienced times when emotions take over.  This is called getting "hijacked".  You can hijacked when you are stuck in traffic and are late for a meeting, when you get into a fight with a loved one, when you feel attacked or threatened, when you're overwhelmed at work and so on.  When you're hijacked you literally can't think and you might make bad decisions that cause you more problems.

Some DBT providers require that you do individual therapy with the same people that lead group.  At Bay Area Mental Health we offer this but don't require it.  We believe that if you already have a relationship with a therapist, it's better to keep that relationship.  With your permission we will work with that therapist to make sure you have an excellent experience and get better.

Comprehensive DBT Program

Comprehensive DBT is the model approved by Marsha Linehan, the founder of DBT. Components of the program include:

DBT Skills Group: 2 hr group that meets once a week and is run by 2 therapists

Group Schedule:

  • Mondays 12pm-2pm (Adults)
  • Mondays 6pm-8pm (Adults)
  • Thursdays 4pm-5:45pm (Young Adults)
  • Thursdays 6pm-8pm (Adults)

Individual Therapy with the therapist of your choice. Bay Area Mental Health therapists are available if you don't already have an therapist. If you already have a therapist we are happy to work with them.

Phone Coaching: Short phone calls in between sessions in order to help you apply the skills are available. There is no charge for this additional support.

Therapist Consultation: Our therapists consult regularly in order to provide you the best experience possible.

We open groups to new clients every 3-6 weeks and you can request to be placed on the wait list for the next opening. If you are ready to start now, we can make an appointment to see you individually.  Please contact Bay Area Mental Health for more information and to see if DBT is right for you.  Groups are small and tend to fill up quickly. 

DBT modules are 8-10 weeks long and members commit to attending for the full module. 



Reading List - Great Books on DBT and Mindfulness:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook, McKay and Woods

Buddha and the Borderline, Kiera van Gelder

Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach

Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh