DBT at The Guidance Center
From the desk of Paulette Walker Guinn, MA, LPC, BHP
DBT Trainer and Specialist
TGC is working on a special project we are very excited about: Establishing a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Program that will be clinic wide. At this time we have three active adult groups, and one active youth group. Each group meets for two hours once a week. We have a DBT Consultation team of staff actively using and/or training in DBT independently. The focus of the Consultation Team is to work on establishing the program and to support each other in our work of using DBT for groups and individual sessions. The SMI Adult team has been meeting for an hour per week learning the skills and the theory of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Additional sessions for clinical staff will start soon! We have also begun the process of applying to the Marsha Linehan Institute (developer of DBT) and BehavioralTech.org, for TGC to be listed on their website as having a structured DBT Program.
Why is DBT so important for TGC (and exciting)? Today DBT is considered the “gold standard” of therapeutic approaches to all diagnoses. The mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and crisis survival skills taught in DBT have also become part of many other evidence based programs used for co-occurring and substance abuse disorders. Thirty years of research has proven that DBT is successful with children from the age of eight to adults in their senior years. Colleges and Universities are presenting DBT along with other successful therapeutic approaches in their psychology, social work, and counseling programs. Plus, retention and recovery rates are high for individuals participating in DBT Programs.
So what is DBT or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy? In a nut shell, DBT is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with the addition of Mindfulness, Validation, Non-Judgmentalness, and Acceptance. It is based on the Biosocial Theory of Emotional Dysregulation; the theory of what takes place with a child biologically before birth and the invalidating social environment they are born into, plus the interaction of the two.
Since this is my favorite subject to discuss, but having to get back to my responsibilities, I will leave you with this information for now. In the future I will report on how we are coming along with this project and provide more information on the DBT skills taught in the four modules.
*The information contained in this blog posting is not intended to be used for legal or clinical guidance. The expressions viewed in this post are those of the author and may not represent The Guidance Center.