DBT Center of Lawrence - DBT Therapists providing mental health treatment in Lawrence, KS

What is DBT?

Evidence-Based and Effective


Produced by the DBT Team at University of California San Francisco; written by Barbara Stuart and Esme Shaller and animated by Mark Wooding


Program Description

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a mental health treatment model designed by Marsha Linehan that is evidenced-based and effective for changing problematic behavior. We believe that people who engage in problematic behavior have learned ineffective ways of coping, which may provide short-term relief but have long-term negative consequences. Our goal is to teach our clients to learn new, effective ways of coping that promote self-respect.

A one-year commitment to our program is recommended, which includes:

  • weekly 50-minute individual therapy

  • weekly 90-minute group therapy

  • unlimited phone coaching

  • access to a team of clinicians working to serve your needs

Structure of DBT

Treatment follows a hierarchy. Once behaviors closer to the top of the hierarchy are stabilized, treatment will move from crisis management to building a life worth living. The hierarchy is as follows:

  1. Suicidal or Self-Harming Behavior

  2. Therapy-Interfering Behavior

  3. Severe Quality of Life Interfering Behavior

  4. General Skills Training

What You'll Learn

Standard DBT includes four skills modules, used to increase effectiveness in: mindfulness, relationships, emotions, and crisis management.

  • Mindfulness Practice

    • Change begins with increasing awareness of the emotional experience

    • With increased ability to regulate attention comes increased ability to regulate emotions

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

    • Ask for what you want

    • Say no to unwanted or unreasonable requests

    • Communicate clearly while maintaining relationships and your self-respect

  • Emotion Regulation Skills

    • Find balance between acting impulsively on emotions and suppressing emotions

    • Understand what your emotions are telling you and respect their message

  • Distress Tolerance Skills

    • When problems cannot be solved immediately, tolerate them instead of making things worse

    • Practice accepting reality, rather than fighting reality