DIALECTICAL BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (DBT) PROGRAM

Individual & Group Therapy in Colorado Springs

Build a Life Worth Living

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP. It emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living. DBT skills include skills for mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. Research has shown DBT to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior, non-suicidal self-injury, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout, substance use, anger, and depression and improving social and global functioning.

The Family Care Center has many providers trained and certified in EMDR therapy and are ready to assist you with your recovery.

Research indicates that 60-70% of couples can make some improvements in their relationships with short term couples’ therapy. The Family Care Center has Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists who can help. Every relationship is different and as unique as the two people in it and we feel it is important to identify and address those issues that are specific to your relationship.

It is our goal to help each couple realize improved engagement in their lives and to equip our clients with skills to progress and grow. The Marriage and Family Therapists at Family Care Center have been trained in many different therapeutic modalities to help couples achieve success in their relationships. Techniques or modalities that might be used are the Gottman Method, DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) for Couples and EFT (Emotion-Focused Therapy) for Couples.

Couples therapy will help you gain problem solving skills that change the “blame game” to a win-win problem-solving process to resolution of each of the issues on which they have been stuck. This can be done by teaching skills so a couple can handle their differences together…working out new and better patterns of engagement. It is important that couples have the opportunity to learn skills to regulate the emotional tone between them at a happy and loving level. Instead of anger, depression and anxiety, there is much more sharing of affection, appreciation, hugs and smiles. Also, a couple may benefit by gaining insights into the childhood origins of their problematic habits and promote excessive emotional reactivity.

The Marriage and Family therapists at Family Care Center are equipped to assess the needs in your relationship and help you find success that works for you!

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DBT Has Been Shown in Clinical Studies to Effectively Treat:

  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Substance use disorder (SUD)

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Major depression, including treatment-resistant depression (TRD)

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Suicidal and self-harming behavior

  • Pre-adolescent children with severe emotional and behavioral dysregulation

  • Binge eating disorder (BED)

  • Bulimia nervosa

  • Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)

  • Histrionic personality disorder (HPD)

  • Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

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Middle School

Tuesdays: 5-6 PM

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High School

  • Tuesdays: 4-5 PM
  • Wednesdays: 5-6 PM
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Adults

  • Mondays: 5-6 PM
  • Thursdays: 5-6 PM
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Parents (10-Week Group)

  • Mondays: 12-1 PM
  • Thursdays: 12-1 PM

How Does DBT Work?

The theory behind dialectical behavioral therapy is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those found in interpersonal (romantic, family, and friend) relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s, attain a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take a significant amount of time to return to baseline arousal levels.

People who are sometimes diagnosed with borderline personality disorder experience extreme swings in their emotions, see the world in black-and-white shades, and seem to always be jumping from one crisis to another. Because few people understand such reactions — most of all their own family and a childhood that emphasized invalidation — they don’t have any methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotion. DBT is a method for teaching skills that will help in this task.

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What Does DBT Treatment Look Like?

DBT treatment consists of two parts:

Individual weekly psychotherapy sessions that emphasize problem-solving behavior for the past week’s issues and troubles that arose in the person’s life. Self-injurious and suicidal behaviors take first priority, followed by behaviors that may interfere with the therapy process. Quality of life issues and working toward improving life in general may also be discussed. Individual sessions in DBT also focus on decreasing and dealing with post-traumatic stress responses (from previous trauma in the person’s life) and helping enhance their own self-respect and self-image. During individual therapy sessions, the therapist and client work toward learning and improving many basic social skills.

Weekly group therapy sessions, generally 1 hour a session, which are led by a trained DBT therapist. In these weekly group therapy sessions, people learn skills from one of four different modules: interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance/reality acceptance skills, emotion regulation, and mindfulness skills are taught.

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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – Children (DBT-C) Parenting Group

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – Children (DBT-C) is a 30-week treatment program that focuses on skill development for parents of kids (typically under age 13) who are emotionally sensitive and reactive. These emotional vulnerabilities lead to behavioral and emotional dysregulation including:

  • Hyper-reactivity

  • Severe temper outbursts

  • Irritability

  • Difficulty with change and transitions

  • Easily bored

  • Avoidance of effort toward completing tasks

  • Rapidly shifting attention

  • Hyperactivity

  • Impulsivity

  • Sensory sensitivity (e.g., touch, smell, hearing, taste)

  • Severe interpersonal problems with friends or family

  • Difficulty maintaining hygiene

Of course, there are also many benefits of emotional sensitivity including empathy, creativity, pattern recognition, and strong positive emotions. These “super sensor” kids need parents who are “super parents”! DBT-C focuses on helping parents become more effective parents which therefore prevents kids from serious adolescent and adult ineffective behavior.

We also offer a 10-week parenting skills group for parents who are unable to make the 30-week commitment.

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Discover the Power of DBT

Whether you’re looking to find help for your hyper-reactive child or you yourself are seeking freedom from overwhelming emotions, dialectical behavioral therapy at the Family Care Center in Colorado Springs can help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our DBT groups.

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