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  • What is DBT

    What is the difference between DBT and other therapies?

    DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. A dialectic is defined as the synthesis of opposites; the idea that two seemingly opposite things can be true at the same time. In DBT, a core dialectic is the goal of balancing acceptance and change. Change is not possible without acceptance of one’s reality. To grow, we must accept certain truths about our experiences, our lives and within ourselves, while also acknowledging the fact that we must alter our behaviors to make meaningful change and create a life worth living.

    DBT delivers a practical set of skills that you will learn and practice weekly in individual and group therapy. These skills can help you manage intense emotions, reduce impulsive and unhelpful behavior, live in the present moment without judgment, improve relationships, and create a life worth living.

    Group Skills Training:

    All behaviors are caused. Problematic behaviors are typically misguided attempts at coping with a situation or solving a problem. Although, ineffective in the long-term, these behaviors are born to serve a function and usually provide short-term relief, thus reinforcing the behavior.

    Group skills training is designed to increase competency in the following domains:

    • Mindfulness:the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment​
    • Distress Tolerance:how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it​
    • Interpersonal Effectiveness:how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others​
    • Emotion Regulation:how to change emotions that you want to change

    Is DBT a Process Group?

     DBT is not a process group. It is a skills-based group, structured like a class. Each week, you will be learning new skills to apply throughout the week.

    The group does not process. Therapy is with your individual therapist; the group is for learning skills.

     Individual DBT sessions:

    An individual DBT therapist partners with you for the duration of the program. Together, you work to strengthen the skills you are learning, overcome obstacles that get in the way, and keep motivation going when the work becomes difficult.

    You meet with your individual DBT therapist 1-2 times per week. Together, you clarify your treatment goals, specific situations and behaviors to target, and how to prioritize those targets.

    Phone Coaching is included in our Comprehensive DBT Program.

    Consultation Team

    Therapists are required to participate in a regular consultation group with other DBT therapists. In this small group, we respect clients’ confidentiality as much as possible; however, certain aspects of your treatment may be discussed and your records will be available to all therapists at The Refinery that are engaged with your care including your individual therapist, therapists leading or co-leading skills groups which you attend, and therapists who review your care in the context of supervision or consultation.


     All DBT groups are currently offered through telehealth via Zoom. Our therapists offer telehealth individual sessions; if you prefer in-person, spaces are available but limited.