Resources for Clients & Family Members
Is DBT Right for Me?
DBT was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and it is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. Read more about the standard treatment approach for clinical disorders.
Skills training is one of four core components of DBT. As DBT has expanded beyond treatment for BPD, new sets of specialized skills have been developed for other disorders, including a module targeting emotion overcontrol, middle path skills developed originally for parents and adolescents but appropriate for many populations, skills for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and a set of skills specifically designed for individuals with addictions. Even when adapting DBT for other disorders, a DBT therapist still looks to the standard treatment model and adapts it only when necessary.
There is growing interest in teaching DBT skills to non-clinical populations. For example, DBT skills are widely taught in general mental health programs in community mental health, inpatient, acute care, forensic, and many other settings. Other groups are exploring how to incorporate DBT skills lesson plans in school systems, or how DBT skills could improve workplace productivity and morale.
Behavioral Tech specializes in training mental health professionals in clinical applications of DBT. Persons planning to conduct DBT skills training with non-clinical populations are advised to consult current research from experts pioneering these applications and to read the DBT Skills Training Manual.
Find a Treatment Provider
Find a Comprehensively Trained DBT Therapist
If you want to find a therapist, search our clinical resource directory (CRD) for providers who have completed DBT Intensive or Foundational training through Behavioral Tech or the UW Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC).
Some therapists offer components of DBT treatment (e.g. skills group only) while others adhere to the comprehensive DBT treatment model. If you'd like to receive the comprehensive treatment, we recommend you review the information posted at this webpage: Guidelines for Choosing a DBT Therapist.
Find a Certified DBT Therapist
DBT Certification is available through the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification (DBT-LBC), a non-profit organization whose purpose is to develop certification standards for clinicians and DBT programs in order to promote the availability of competently delivered, effective DBT.
For a list of providers who have been independently certified by the DBT Linehan Board of Certification, please view their directory here.
Find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Therapist
If you are interested in finding a therapist who practices CBT, you can search for a CBT therapist on the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) website, as well as learn more about what CBT is.
Contact Local Colleges or Universities for Referrals
Some universities and colleges have DBT programs available for enrolled students. They may also be able to recommend additional therapy resources in their area. Contact your local college or university's psychology or psychiatry department, or the student health center, to ask about resources for DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or other treatment options.
Additional Information and Support
If you can't find a DBT Therapist near you, or you simply want more information, we suggest exploring the following resources:
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
NAMI is a grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. To learn about mental health conditions, learn about treatment options, find support, or get involved with NAMI, visit www.nami.org.
National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA.BPD)
The NEA.BPD is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and education about BPD. Visit www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com to learn more. These specific resources may be of help to you:
- The Family Connections program, designed by Alan Fruzzetti, PhD, and Perry Hoffman, PhD, is a 12-week program that provides support family members of people with BPD.
- The NEA.BPD maintains an archive of free resources featuring mental health experts on various topics: call-in Audio Archive.
Treatment and Research Advancements National Association for Personality Disorder (TARA)
TARA's mission is to foster education and research in the field of personality disorder, specifically but not exclusively Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Visit the TARA website to learn more.
Stories of Hope
Visit the Linehan Institute "DBT Success Stories" page to read about the experiences from clients who received DBT and from their friends, family, or therapists. One of those stories is featured below.
Review the core evidence base for the treatment, as well as recent research articles about DBT on the Linehan Institute website.
Introduction to Using DBT Skills with Adolescents
Watch a two-hour lecture presented by Drs. Marsha Linehan and Laura Kastner titled Teen Extremes: Regulating Moods in the Age of Anxiety. This lecture provides parents and professionals working with young people with guidance and practices to help teens manage intense feelings and handle anything life sends their way. Based in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), these skills will help young people to: stay calm and mindful in difficult situations, effectively manage out-of-control emotions, reduce the pain of intense emotions, and get along with family and friends.
- Mindfulness for Clients, Friends, and Family
- Sleep Protocol: Getting to Sleep, Getting Back to Sleep
- Frequently Asked Questions about DBT
1 - Linehan, M.M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Manual: Second Edition. New York: Guilford Press.