Dialectical Behavior Therapy


What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an intensive therapy program that offers participants weekly therapy sessions, skills training classes, and access to 24-hour telephone coaching. A Peer Support Specialist will be available to meet with DBT participants and support them in learning new skills while sharing their own experience with recovery.


  • Who uses the DBT Program?
  • Whom Will I See?
  • What are my responsibilities as a participant of the DBT program?
Who uses the DBT Program?

Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., designed DBT in the early 1990’s. It was developed to help people who had a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and who had a high risk for suicide. Many studies over the past 25 years indicate that DBT can also benefit a variety of mental health disorders. People with BPD struggle with controlling their emotions and may experience:

  • Intense anger or difficulty controlling anger
  • Impulsivity and urges to harm themselves
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide
  • Trouble keeping relationships
Whom Will I See?

The DBT team is licensed therapists, case coordinators, and a certified peer support specialist. The DBT team members have completed many hours of training and work together to support participants to meet goals for treatment. The DBT team meets weekly to support one another and ensure DBT is being provided as intended.

The DBT team members not only teach DBT skills but believe in them enough to use the skills in their own lives. Team members value a nonjudgmental approach towards individuals in treatment.

What are my responsibilities as a participant of the DBT program?

The frequency of contacts may be different for some depending on the need and the goals identified in each individual’s Person Centered Plan. The skills training class meets 2 1/2 hours weekly. Individual therapy sessions are scheduled weekly. Telephone coaching is available 24/7 and provided by a DBT team member. The DBT program typically requires a one-year commitment.


The DBT program helps participants to better manage their life by teaching ways to:

  • Cope with strong emotions
  • Handle conflict in relationships
  • Manage distressing thoughts, urges, and behaviors
  • Prevent and learn how to survive through life crises
  • Learn to live in the present moment

Distress Tolerance Skills

These skills help participants survive crises and tolerate intense, painful emotions. These skills result in less impulsive and self-destructive behaviors.



Emotion Regulation Skills

Emotion Regulation skills help participants understand emotions, learn ways to reduce intense emotions, and learn ways to generate positive emotions.



Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

These help individuals develop communication skills to improve relationships, be more effective at saying ‘no,’ as well as how to ask for things.



Core Mindfulness Skills

Teaches participants ways to stay in the present moment, take control of their mind, and learn different ways to make effective and less impulsive decisions.


Shiawassee Health & Wellness

1555 Industrial Drive
Owosso, MI 48867
(989) 723-6791

Lindsey Hull, Chief Executive Officer

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