Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

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What is DBT and can it help me?


Do you know those emotions that get out of control and get you in trouble? DBT teaches you how to keep them in check. Sounds cool, right?

DBT is a combination of Group Therapy and Individual Therapy that helps people learn to manage their emotions. This allows them to have better relationships, handle crises when they come up, make better decisions, and keep emotions in check.

Developed 50 years ago, it’s been shown to effectively treat problems including depression, bipolar, anxiety, PTSD, caregiver burnout, relationship problems, substance use, and of course borderline personality disorder.

DBT is considered the gold standard approach for treating Emotion Dysregulation:

  • Emotions that spike out of control from nowhere

  • Emotions that are super intense, more so than most people seem to understand

  • Emotions that seem to last forever

Emotion Dysregulation can look like:

  • Frequent crying

  • Anger outbursts

  • Inability to stay in healthy relationships

  • Unsure what you are feeling

  • Feeling like no one can understand your emotions

  • Feeling overwhelmed all the time

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Bipolar

  • Borderline Personality Disorder

  • PTSD and trauma

  • Facebook

Does DBT really work?


We believe that DBT can help EVERY SINGLE PERSON and have found it incredibly helpful in our own lives. No one can teach DBT unless they use it in their own lives, and we do. Here’s what past clients have had to say:

“Your DBT classes have changed my life! It has helped me more than 10 years of traditional talk therapy could. 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.”

Integrated DBT at Bay Area Mental Health


Maybe your therapist or psychiatrist recommended that you do DBT, or maybe you read a few of the many articles on the effectiveness of DBT. We believe that DBT changes lives. It changed ours, and it will change yours, if you do the work.

Individual Therapy


It’s most effective if you work with a Bay Area Mental Health therapist during the time you are in DBT because we know what you are working on in group and can support that process. However, if you already have a therapist, we want to honor that relationship and are happy to collaborate with them. In other words, you can stay with your current therapist if you prefer.

DBT Skills Group


Groups meet once a week for two hours and are like a class. We teach you skills to help you manage emotions, assign skills to practice (“homework”), and review homework from the previous week. Groups are a maximum of eight people and are run by two DBT therapists.

Phone Coaching


Coaching calls are short phone calls (less than 10 minutes) in-between sessions designed to help you use the coping skills that you learn in a group. This is not the same thing as phone therapy. There is no charge for this support.

App-Based Support


We incorporate app-based care in or program to reinforce the skills you are learning in group and individual therapy. Through the app we can share lessons for in between sessions and monitor your progress. You can choose how much or how little you would like to share with your therapist through the app.

DBT Graduates Group


Once clients have completed a DBT program with either Bay Area Mental Health or another program, they can join one of our Graduates Groups. The DBT Graduate Groups are intended to provide a safe space to deepen your use of DBT skills. These groups are a mix of skills training and processing.

Therapist Consultation


Our therapists consult regularly to provide you the best experience possible. We function as a team to give you excellent care.

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Skills Group Modules

The full DBT Program consists of three group modules with Mindfulness incorporated into each one:

  • Distress Tolerance (8 weeks) – Learn skills to manage emotional crisis situations, short-term and long-term.

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness (8 weeks) – Learn to communicate more effectively, to ask for what you want, and to say no. Learn to set and maintain boundaries.

  • Emotion Regulation (10 weeks) – Learn to identify and understand what you are feeling. Learn to reduce the frequency and intensity of emotions, and even to change them once they start.

DBT Skills Groups

  • Mondays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

  • Thursdays 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

  • Thursdays 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

  • Thursdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

DBT Graduates Group

  • Tuesdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

How do I sign up?

We open up groups to new clients at the beginning of a new module. Because we have multiple groups running, there is usually only a three- to six-week wait to get into a group. Groups tend to fill up quickly so we maintain waitlists for each group. We can reserve a spot for you – call now to hold your place in line. If you are ready to start now, we can make an appointment to start to see you individually.