What is DBT?


DBT is a program providing intensive treatment to individuals and their families, with personalized attention, small groups, and out-of-session coaching. ADHERENT DBT is the therapy proven to reduce hospitalizations, the need for higher level of care, and reduce suicidality and depression. We are the only adherent program in Bergen County one of the few adherent programs in New Jersey. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington. She developed this therapy to help clients with suicidal and self-harming behaviors, and this therapy has shown promise for other difficulties including reducing depression, reducing anxiety, anger management, trauma recovery, and impulsive behavior. 

What is an "Adherent Program"?

  1. Clinician training -- Formal training in DBT.  Intensive training, a minimum of 40 hours of training, is the baseline level required for adherent DBT.

  2. Weekly DBT skills group - Groups last 1.5 to 2 hours.

  3. Individual therapy with an intensively trained therapist at least 1x per week.

  4. Consultation team - A team of therapists that meet weekly to consult on improving the treatment

  5. Skills Coaching - Offers skills coaching via phone/text.

How can I tell if a clinican is NOT doing adherent DBT?

  1. They do not have formal training in DBT - the MINIMUM needed is intensive training.

  2. They are practicing without a consultation team

  3. They do not provide skills coaching.

  4. They provide only individual therapy or only DBT Skills Groups.

What does DBT Certification mean for my treatment?

The highest level of training in DBT is certification. There is one certified DBT clinician within 25 miles -- Laura Richardson, Ph.D. who is the clinical director of the practice. To confirm certification for any practice look at the Linehan Board of Certification Site.   Certified DBT therapists not only have extensive DBT training but are Linehan Board Certified through a rigorous process of examinations and review of actual cases and sessions by experts in DBT.

Our program combines all of the elements of an adherent model based upon the work of Dr Marsha Linehan, Dr. Jill Rathus and Dr. Alec Miller. These elements include group therapy, individual therapy, consultation team and skills coaching.

  1. Individual Therapy. (at least once weekly). In individual therapy, we review diary cards, figure out where in the chain of events that problems arise, and craft solutions for the client using the DBT Skills that they are learning in group therapy.

  2. Group Skills Training. (weekly therapy, at least 2 month commitment, 26 weeks total). In group therapy, we teach a mindfulness skill, review skills home practice from the previous group, and teach a new skill. Adolescents 13-18 attend multi-family groups which are modeled after the program developed by Dr.s Miller and Rathus. Adults 18+ attend multi-family groups which are adherent to the Marsha Linehan protocols in her 2014 publication. In skill groups,  families learn DBT skills in a group format.  We also offer a graduate group for those who have finished the 26 weeks.

  3. Skills Coaching. (as needed). Skills coaching phone calls are provided free of charge for the first 15 minutes of coaching for clients in the full DBT program. The goal of skills coaching is to provide the opportunity for the client to have support while practicing skills outside the therapy room. We consider this a critical part of the DBT program, as clients need to learn to use their skills in all contexts.

  4. Consultation Team. We have a consultation team which meets weekly to improve skills and our DBT Program as a whole.

T/F: (201) 241-2422

317 Godwin Ave, 2nd Floor, Midland Park, NJ. 07432

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