DBT for Mental Health: Unlocking Its Healing Potential

Mental health clinicians and professionals are always looking for the most effective ways to help their clients. Therapy is not
If you need help, we’re here for you. Contact us today.
Get Help
100% confidential

In This Article:

Clearview’s Programs
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center
Residential Treatment
Women’s Treatment Center
Residential Treatment
Outpatient Treatment
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)

Mental health clinicians and professionals are always looking for the most effective ways to help their clients. Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works well for one person might not be helpful for another. Thankfully there exist a wide variety of therapy modalities that allows therapists to select the approach or approaches most suited for their clients.1

Some specialized forms of therapy are designed for people with certain mental health conditions, such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for individuals living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such specific forms of therapy enable therapists to more effectively help clients with particular needs.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is another example of these specially designed therapeutic modalities. Initially developed in the 1980s and 1990s by Marsha Linehan for individuals who were severely suicidal, DBT has been adapted over the decades to assist people with high-risk disorders like bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder.2

What is dialectical behavior therapy and how can it help people improve their mental health? DBT therapy offers incredible healing potential for those struggling with their mental health and offers an adaptable and individualized solution for each person.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was originally developed by psychologist Dr. Marsha Linehan in the late 1980s. It is primarily designed to help individuals who struggle with emotional regulation, self-destructive behaviors, and difficulties in interpersonal relationships.

These days, DBT incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and combines them with Eastern mindfulness practices. It is characterized by several key components:

  • Mindfulness: Being fully present in the moment, observing thoughts and emotions without judgment, and developing awareness of one’s internal experiences.
  • Distress Tolerance: Tolerating distressing emotions without resorting to self-destructive behaviors, such as self-harm or substance abuse.
  • Emotion Regulation: Understanding and managing emotions more effectively, including identifying and labeling emotions, reducing emotional vulnerability, and learning healthy ways to cope with intense feelings.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Improving communication and relationship skills, helping individuals navigate and assert their needs and boundaries in relationships while maintaining self-respect.
  • Core Mindfulness: Being present in the moment, non-judgmentally, and accepting oneself and the world as they are.

Clinicians typically provide DBT therapy in a combination of individual therapy sessions and group therapy, where individuals can practice and reinforce the skills they learn. Therapist and client work collaboratively, setting specific goals and targets for treatment and developing a long-term plan for treatment success.

Who Does DBT Therapy Help?

Dialectical behavior therapy is used primarily for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD), but it has also been adapted for use in treating a range of other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and substance use disorder.

Research shows that DBT is effective in reducing self-destructive behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and enhancing the overall quality of life for individuals with BPD and other conditions.3 The success that clients have experience with DBT has pushed the therapy to the forefront as a widely used and well-respected modality.

Finding Treatment with Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Many treatment facilities provide numerous therapeutic approaches as part of their care including Clearview Treatment Programs. Our facility specializes in working with individuals living with bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and other high-risk mental health disorders. We provide dialectical behavior therapy as a primary approach along with other modalities and forms of care. To learn more about the services we offer at Clearview Treatment Programs, call us at 310-455-5258 or submit an online contact form today.


  1. American Psychological Association. (2009). Different approaches to psychotherapy.
  2. The American Journal of Psychotherapy. (2018). The Course and Evolution of Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
  3. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. (2017). Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Adults with Mental Illness.

If you’re ready to start your recovery, we’re here to help.

Recent Blog Posts

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Get exclusive resources, find inspiration, and grow alongside us. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter now!