For Clients & Families

We know it can be challenging for individuals and their loved ones to find and receive effective treatment for mental illnesses, which is why we work hard to increase access to care. This page is a collection of resources to help you learn more about who can be helped by DBT, and to make it easier to identify treatment and support options.

The information here is provided as a courtesy and is not intended as a substitute for professional mental health treatment or emergency/crisis services.

If you’re having an emergency and need immediate assistance, call 911 or your local crisis number. To talk with someone and get free and confidential support, 24/7, call the national Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

On this page:

Who Does DBT Help?

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.

For more information the science behind DBT’s effectiveness, visit our Research page and read about the latest evidence.

Find a Treatment Provider

When you’re ready to talk with someone about starting mental health treatment, here are ways to 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: How to Know if a Therapist Does DBT

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. Visit their directory to search for a certified DBT provider in your area.

Find a CBT Therapist
If you are interested in finding a therapist who practices cognitive behavioral therapy (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.

SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline
Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area through the SAMHSA National Helpline. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. 1‑877‑726‑4727

Ask Local Colleges or Universities
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.

Helplines: Talk to a Trained Support Person

Sometimes you just want to talk to somebody, but where can you go for help? Behavioral Tech is a professional training organization; our administrative staff members cannot offer clinical services or advice.

Please refer to this list of helplines who have persons trained to help in the event of a crisis, or talk with you about whatever is on your mind:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 | You will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area. This service is available 24/7. You can also chat with someone online.
  • SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-622-4357 | SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental health and/or substance use disorders. Services are available in English and Spanish.
  • U.S. Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) | The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Call Your Local Resources | Many cities in the U.S. and Canada have special local numbers, such as 2-1-1, to put you in touch with non-emergency organizations that provide health and human services assistance. Local centers often have additional language options if you want to talk in a language other than English.

Videos, Books, & Additional Resources

Behavioral Tech offers videos and books intended for clients and families.

Videos for Clients and Families

Here are videos we recommend for clients and families:

  • From Chaos to Freedom (DVD and online)
  • Opposite Action: Changing Emotions You Want to Change (DVD and online)
  • If Only We Had Known: A Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder (DVD only)
  • DBT Addiction Skills (online only)

Behavioral Tech also hosted Dr. Laura Kastner and Dr. Marsha Linehan for a special focus on Teen Extremes: Regulating Moods in the Age of Anxiety. Watch it below.

Books for Clients and Families

For those clients, family members, or friends who want to learn more about borderline personality disorder, mindfulness, and overcoming self-injurious behaviors, visit our Store and find a list of books for Clients and Families.

Information & Support Organizations

National Alliance for Mental Illness: NAMI is the nation’s largest 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 their website. Be sure to visit the special section on treatment and support for mental health conditions.

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder: 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.

The Sashbear Foundation: Sashbear is a Canadian-based organization dedicated to making waves on BPD and suicide prevention. Sashbear also operates Family Connections classes in English and French.

Treatment and Research Advancements National Association for Personality Disorder: TARA’s mission is to foster education and research in the field of personality disorder, specifically but not exclusively Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Government & Professional Organizations

American Psychological Association: The APA works to advance the creation, communication, and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives. Access research and resources on a variety of topics.

MentalHealth.gov: MentalHealth.gov provides one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information. MentalHealth.gov aims to educate and guide its users on a variety of mental health topics, and it integrates information from several other government agencies.

National Institute on Drug Abuse: NIDA’s mission is to lead the U.S. in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. Visit their site to learn about drugs of abuse and related topics, plus the latest facts and research findings.

National Institute of Mental Health: NIMH is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.