Making Progress Toward Lasting Change with Comprehensive DBT in West Hartford, CT
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is quickly becoming one of the most often utilized types of therapy to support clients who are experiencing a range of concerns. It may be used in individual or group therapy settings, and some therapists are also finding ways to incorporate DBT into relationship and family therapy sessions. The versatility of the treatment approaches that make up comprehensive DBT is appealing and can be effective. However, to receive the maximum benefit of DBT, a comprehensive approach is recommended.
What is Comprehensive DBT?
Comprehensive DBT is an evidence-based therapy practice that incorporates all aspects of the DBT approach to therapy to create a thorough therapy plan. Comprehensive DBT includes at least four steps: individual therapy, skills training (typically in a group setting), phone coaching, and therapist consultations. Family skills training is an optional fifth step.
Individual DBT Therapy Sessions
During individual DBT therapy sessions, the therapist pays close attention to client behaviors looking for motivational concerns, including personal and environmental factors that inhibit effective behaviors (the things clients want to do more) and that elicit and reinforce maladaptive behaviors (the things clients want to do less). Then, the individual therapist is responsible for helping the client inhibit maladaptive behaviors and replace them with adaptive, skillful responses. Specifically, the therapist will utilize diary cards to help individuals track and report their behaviors between sessions. The goal is to begin recognizing the maladaptive behaviors and replacing them with one of the four modules developed through DBT. DBT modules are simply strategies you can use to navigate difficult situations. The four DBT modules are mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Group DBT Therapy Sessions
DBT group therapy sessions or skills training is where you can practice those four DBT modules in a safe and supportive environment. In most cases, skills training groups will begin with a mindfulness exercise, and you’ll practice an additional skill during the session that will be applied to your real life between sessions. You’ll review how applying these new skills went during the following meeting.
DBT Phone Coaching
Coaching, typically done over the phone, is an essential aspect of the DBT process. When you’re in need of support as you apply the skills and strategies learned in DBT to the real world, you can reach out to your therapist for guidance. All the skills you learn during individual and group sessions can only offer a true benefit to your life if you can apply them in the real world. That’s why phone coaching is so important. It helps you understand the ways that the new strategies you learn in DBT sessions can be applied. Phone coaching is also a great resource to prevent or diminish reliance on problematic or self-harming behaviors.
DBT Consultation Team Meetings
In addition to working with clients, therapists who offer DBT also work together. During weekly sessions, your therapist (without naming names) will discuss concerns that arise each week during sessions, obstacles they’re finding to doing good work, and strategies for overcoming potential roadblocks. These regular sessions give therapists an opportunity to continually adjust and improve their approaches to DBT to ensure they are offering clients the level of support they deserve in order to achieve the goals set in DBT sessions. It’s important to remember that your therapist is a person too, and the understanding and knowledge gained by regularly working with other professionals to improve their own use of DBT translates into better support and therapy service for you.
DBT Family Skills Training
As humans, we are made to connect, and our familial relationships are some of the most important connections we have in our lives. When you seek support through comprehensive DBT, you may be in personal crisis due to self-harming or self-destructive behaviors, but these situations don’t occur in a vacuum. The odds are good that your family members and loved ones are impacted by your behaviors as well. DBT family skills training helps you to better apply your DBT skills to interactions with your loved ones, and it can help your family to better understand your experience in order to be effective members of your ongoing support system.
What do I do Next?
If you’re interested in engaging in comprehensive DBT sessions with one of the therapists at the Harmony Center for Change, we’re here to help. When you’re ready, please reach out to our practice to schedule a consultation session. We know it can be a big step, and you may be feeling a whole range of emotions from anxiety to fear. Just know that we’re here to help, and our therapists would love to be part of your therapy journey. To get started, simply reach out to our team online or over the phone. We look forward to hearing from you.