DBT helps people to live in the moment, cope with stress in healthy ways, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships.
DBT is intensive outpatient treatment that supports and treats people who struggle with high-risk behaviors, including suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, eating or substance use disorders, or self-harm by cutting or burning. Individuals with these behaviors often feel overwhelmed by emotional pain and have difficulty in their relationships with others.
DBT teaches clients how to identify and cope with their emotions, and to create and maintain healthy relationships – thereby helping to reduce high-risk behaviors and the need for future psychiatric hospitalizations.
DBT is based on radical acceptance and change. For change to take hold, clients first need to accept their realities, especially the painful ones. From there, they learn the skills needed to change those realities and start living their best lives.
ServiceNet offers separate, comprehensive DBT programs for adults and adolescents, which include:
- Weekly individual psychotherapy (plus weekly family therapy in the Adolescent DBT program)
- Weekly DBT skills group (see description below)
- Telephone coaching: clients can call their individual therapist between sessions to receive skills-coaching when they need it most.
- DBT consultation teams for therapists: meeting together on a regular basis, DBT therapists help each other monitor their fidelity to the treatment while developing and increasing their skills.
ServiceNet has been providing DBT since 1993 and has been nationally recognized for the quality and effectiveness of our program.
The Referral Process
Individuals and/or their families may self-refer to the DBT program. Adult DBT is available at our outpatient clinics in Northampton and Greenfield and via telehealth. Adolescent DBT is offered in Northampton and via telehealth.
More about DBT Skills Training
Risky behaviors evolve as ways to attempt to solve a problem. Though at first these behaviors might provide some temporary relief, they are not usually effective in the long run. DBT begins with the belief that clients are doing the best they can – and that they will benefit by learning new behavioral skills to help them cope in a variety of situations.
The four skills taught in DBT are:
- Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in the moment.
- Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, and to move through it instead of avoiding it.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and how to say “no” to maintain your self-respect and your relationships with others.
- Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that you want to change.
Skills training is usually taught in weekly group sessions, and the full skills curriculum runs for 24 weeks. The group leader assigns homework so that clients may practice the skills in their everyday lives.
ServiceNet also offers DBT-based Wise Mind Groups for people with less severe symptoms (see our Group Therapy section for more information).