DBT Therapy Components
Unlike traditional therapeutic approaches, standard or comprehensive DBT includes four researched and efficacy-proven components:
DBT Therapist Consultation Team
The therapists of the Greenville DBT Collective meet weekly to ensure that current clients are getting effective treatment. The therapists review potential clients’ information and make determinations about recommended treatment. Each DBT therapist considers their clients & gets help from the team as needed to ensure therapy progresses & to resolve problems. The therapists also support each other in utilizing DBT personally and professionally.
Individual DBT Therapy
Clients meet once a week for an individual session with their DBT therapist. Sessions typically last 45-60 minutes. During this time, the client & therapist review the diary card (a summary of the client’s week) together to decide which events need to be discussed. In this way, skillful behavior is reinforced and problem behavior can be identified in order to problem-solve & determine which DBT skills could be helpful in the future. The DBT therapist acts as a copilot, helping clients integrate DBT skills into their life to achieve their specific goals.
DBT Skills Classes
Adult DBT skills classes meet once a week for 60-90 minutes. Class size is small (typically 3-8 clients) to maximize learning. The curriculum includes DBT skills in Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. The format for each class involves a mindfulness exercise, homework review from the previous week’s lesson, and a new lesson covering new DBT skills.
It typically takes 9-12 months to complete the four Standard DBT skills modules. This is the time needed to cover all the material. How quickly each client incorporates DBT skills into their life depends on their motivation & willingness to try new things. Learning about the skills is necessary, but experimenting and practicing the skills is essential to creating change and reaching goals.
Teens also participate in skills classes that meet weekly. The key difference in the teen program is that teens and parents participate in class together, which typically has 3-6 families in it. The teen program length is 28 weeks & includes a special module designed for families called The Middle Path. This module helps families navigate out of dilemmas & behavior patterns that may be keeping them stuck. At the end of each module, review class is done to help solidify understanding of the skills & solidify habits of incorporating the skills into everyday life. The review classes are offered in a fun format playing games (with prizes!) to practice skills learned.
DBT Coaching Calls
DBT coaching calls are provided for all clients in Clarify Counseling’s DBT programs, including parents attending skills with their teen. These calls are free of charge. Clients may call their individual therapist for skills coaching as needed during daytime hours between therapy sessions. These calls are usually limited to ten minutes and are focused on skills that can be used for current problems the client is facing. Calling for coaching while problems are happening is encouraged because it helps clients use skills immediately AND helps avoid causing bigger problems. Linking skills use with success in daily living is a crucial part of the DBT process. Each DBT therapist has their own guidelines regarding these calls.