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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Learn About DBT and it’s Ability to Eliminate Distress In Your LIfe

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) aims to teach people how to live a more positive, in-the-moment life. DBT provides healthy ways for coping with stress and regulating emotions. This, in turn, will also improve relationships with others.
How Was DBT Therapy Developed

How Was DBT Therapy Developed?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan in the 1970s to treat Borderline Personality Disorder.

By teaching emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal skills, DBT helps decrease self-destructive behaviors associated with Borderline Personality Disorder like eating disorders and PTSD.

Though originally intended for Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT has since been adapted to effectively treat other conditions like anxiety, depression, and ADHD.

How Does DBT Therapy Work?

DBT is a type of therapy that helps individuals who have strong emotions and have trouble managing them. It’s a kind of toolbox for handling tough feelings.

You will learn to understand feelings, and pay attention to the present moment.

Controlling emotions in a better way and calming yourself when you are upset are the result of learning DBT.

You will be able to handle difficult situations and how to communicate with others in a better way.

Your personal acceptance, while making positive changes will be one of the outcomes you experience.

All of this, and more, will be the result of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy work. Your counselor will be your coach, to guide you through the process and teach you the skills.

What Happens During a DBT Therapy Session?

In DBT, counselors help resolve contradictions between self-acceptance and positive change. They explore how current actions “make sense” given personal experiences to reduce stress around change. Patients learn emotion regulation, interpersonal skills, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. DBT occurs in individual or group settings to target distressing issues and teach coping skills.

Looking for our DBT Skills Group? Click here

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What are the Benefits of DBT?

DBT therapy programs offers several benefits for individuals struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges.

1. Emotion Regulation: DBT teaches effective tools and strategies to regulate emotions, manage distress, and improve interpersonal relationships through group settings and role-playing exercises.

2. Group & Individual Therapy: Group therapy provides peer support while individual sessions allow therapists to address specific issues and develop personalized coping strategies.

Overall, DBT therapy offers a comprehensive approach that combines group support, individual therapy, and real-world application. Its focus on emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and coping skills equips individuals with the tools needed to navigate life’s challenges, improve emotional well-being, and cultivate more satisfying relationships.

Who Can DBT Help?

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) can be beneficial for a wide range of individuals facing various emotional and behavioral challenges. Some of the groups that can benefit from DBT include:

Our DBT Counselors

FAQs about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

We get a lot of questions about DBT and to help you better understand what Dialectical Behavior Therapy is.

We want to offer you information in order for you to make the right decision if DBT is going to be a healthy and beneficial option for you.,

Here are some of the more common questions and answers for you.

If you don’t find the information you are looking for, remember, we are here to speak with you and offer a free 15 minute consultation.

1. Is DBT for young adults helpful?

Yes! DBT for young adults can be extremely helpful when they are struggling with things like:

While it was initially developed for people afflicted with Borderline Personality Disorder, it can be adapted to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-harm related behaviors
  • Recovery programs

2. Does DBT for recovery really work?

Absolutely! The reason we can say yes without a doubt is that recovery is often part of dealing with other co-occurring mental health conditions. DBT teaches individuals how to identify and label emotions, especially ones that can trigger a response. Coping skills are also part of managing stress and staying calm. Goal setting and achievement is also encouraged and developed.

It’s worth noting that DBT for recovery typically involves a combination of multiple types of therapy. We are all unique and because of this, there is no “one size fits all”

Our DBT counselors might recommend combining individual therapy and group therapy for your DBT plan. After the initial consultation, we can help determine which course of therapy plan is right for you.

3. Can DBT for couples save my relationship?

DBT for couples, also known as DBT couples therapy, can be helpful in improving communication and/or resolving conflicts in a relationship.

As you work with your counselor, you’ll learn things like how to:

4. What about DBT for complex PTSD? Can DBT really help with that?

We have seen individuals with PTSD and complex PTSD respond very positively to DBT. Learning skills like mindfulness, along with emotion regulation and distress tolerance are beneficial. They help clients manage intense emotions and distress.

DBT, in combination with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and individual therapy can be beneficial. Clients address both the immediate systems and the underlying traumatic experiences.

* Arizona’s Pathways Counseling Services is proud to have some of the best DBT counselors in Scottsdale. Ask your counselor about treatment plans available to you, and they will work with you to develop the right one for your unique needs.

5. Can DBT trauma therapy help me heal from my trauma?

We believe DBT trauma therapy can be very helpful for healing from trauma.

DBT trauma therapy combines the principles of DBT with trauma-focused therapy. The goal of it is to help you manage your emotions and better tolerate the distress you are feeling.

When you work with our DBT counselors, we’ll help you cope with your feelings of trauma, anxiety and the impact your trauma is having on your mental health.

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DBT Skills Group and Costs

Pathways Counseling Services offers DBT Psychoeducational Skills groups, comprised of 4 treatment modules, each six (6) weeks in length.


Please complete the form below to sign up now for the new group starting August 27, 2024.


Learn more about Distress Tolerance here:

The modules are Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness

Each of the modules is described below:


The Mindfulness module focuses on improving the ability to accept and be present in the moment. You will learn skills on how to set aside worries about the past and future.

This will allow you to completely address what is happening right now. Feel more in control of your emotions versus your emotions controlling you.

Distress Tolerance

The Distress Tolerance module is geared towards increasing the tolerance for negative emotions. This will allow you to deal with them rather than trying to ignore them. Individuals will learn to cope with situations that cause stress and anxiety.

You’ll develop reframing skills for their thoughts and implementing self-soothing techniques.

Emotion Regulation

The Emotional Regulation module teaches participants how to understand and navigate powerful emotions. It is a strategy used to manage and regulate the emotions that are intense and problematic. 

You will learn to adapt and change your emotions. The goal is to improve your mindset and how you cope with them to reduce the impact. This will lead to creating more positive actions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

The Interpersonal Effectiveness module teaches techniques to better communicate with others. You will understand how to do it in a way that’s more easily understood. Members of the group learn how to establish what they want. You’ll understand how to assess your needs, and maintain self-respect. The outcome will be healthy relationships with others.

Each treatment module is taught in a small group setting one night per week for six weeks – ONE ADDED WEEK FOR THIS GROUP! The cost of the upcoming module is $490 and includes a binder full of helpful resources and the protocol. (Once paid, no refunds or partial refunds are given.)

DBT Psychoeducational Groups

The next DBT Psychoeducational Group – DISTRESS TOLERANCE is registering now – complete the form below to join the group.

Start date will be August 27, 2024.

The group will meet from 6:00 P.M. TO 7:30 P.M.  – TUESDAY


Contact us to learn more.

Complete the contact information below to register for the upcoming class:

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FAQs About DBT Skills Group Therapy

Not sure if DBT Skills Group Therapy is right for you? Below are some answers to frequently asked questions that may help you decide.

1. How does DBT Skills Group therapy work?

Once you sign up, you will be given all of the information for where and when to attend. You are able to attend in person and also join the group virtually. Or, you can do a combination of both in order to work with your schedule.

We do ask that if you attend through our HIPPA compliant video link, you are in a quiet location where you will not be interrupted.

DBT Skills Groups involve a structured curriculum that includes four (4) modules. The modules are taught in a six (6) week course (some modules have an additional week, as requested by participants. See information above for more information. The modules are Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Each module is designed to teach specific skills that can help individuals:

  • Cope with emotional dysregulation
  • Manage distressing situations
  • Improve communication and relationships, and
  • Regulate your emotions

2. Will I be given any resources along with the sessions?

Yes! Every person that registers for the Skills Group will be given a binder that features dialectical behavior therapy resources to help in the journey of healing.

3. What happens if I miss a session?

We highly recommend you don’t miss a session, and we offer you the ability to attend the session via a HIPPA compliant video connection. This way, you can attend even if you can’t be there in person. We ask that you are in a quiet and private location for the duration of the group.

4. Can the DBT Skills Group really help me?

We believe DBT Skills Group to be one of the most effective means of therapy. During the group you will

  • Learn New Skills
  • Learn in a Group Environment
  • Have practice and application of skills learned
  • Receive support and encouragement
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Learn skills to cope with crisis
  • Improve relationships

You’ll be in a supportive and collaborative environment with the best DBT counselors there to guide you every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I make an appointment?

You may do this in three ways.
You can book online anytime
Call us at 480-613-8530
Complete this contact form.

Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes, we offer a free 15-minute telephone consultation. Please call us at 480-613-8530 to schedule a consultation or complete this contact form.

Do you accept any insurance?

Our practice is a fee-for-service practice which means we do not accept insurance. If you have an insurance provider with behavioral health coverage, they may offer out-of-network coverage. If you would like to use your out-of-network benefits, we will provide you with a superbill (receipt) that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

What should I expect when I come for my sessions?

Prior to your first session, you will fill out some general information. We will you a link to complete the form(s) prior to your first session.
During the initial appointment, we will review some of your histories and we will have an opportunity to discuss the reasons you are interested in counseling and the goals you are looking to achieve from counseling.
Together during the first few sessions we will put together a treatment plan with you.

How soon should I see results from the counseling sessions?

Most patients come in for weekly appointments. As you are feeling better, you can cut back on the frequency of the sessions so you have more time to practice what you are learning.

Initial sessions are 75 minutes ongoing sessions may be 45-75 minutes or longer depending on need.

Patients who work with us report improvements in a few sessions. More difficult issues may take longer. People come to therapy for different reasons but universally people don’t initiate counseling unless they are in some type of emotional pain. Our attitude is to try to make every session count.

What kind of patients do you see?

We welcome couples, children, adolescents, teens, and individuals of diverse backgrounds, cultures, religious traditions, and lifestyles.

We will be able to work with you using a variety of tools and techniques and specialize in a variety of issues and concerns.

Is what I say confidential?

All client-therapist conversations are private and confidential. In those rare exceptions when the safety of a client or other is at risk disclosure of confidential client-therapist information takes place.