Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

It seems like you, or your child is always in crisis.

You, or your child, swings between high highs and low lows.

Sometimes, the coping strategies you’ve been taught make things worse in the long run.

You’re feeling hopeless and overwhelmed by emotions.

Regular therapy just isn’t working for you.

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a perfect treatment for people who are:

  1. more sensitive to emotions
  2. more reactive to emotions
  3. have a slower return to baseline

If any of these things sound familiar for you or your loved one then DBT is probably the answer!

Who Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Work For?

  • Adolescents and adults
  • Individuals with substance use disorders
  • Teens who refuse to go to or participate in school or have other chronic avoidance issues
  • Young adults experiencing failure to launch
  • Individuals experiencing symptom swapping (one thing goes away, another thing comes up)
  • Behavioral concerns
  • Self-harm behaviors and suicidal ideation
  • Difficult-to-treat anxiety and depression
  • Persistent relationship struggles
  • Eating disorders

What does Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Mean?

DIALECTICAL means the ability to hold two opposites as true. In DBT we often talk about finding common ground between opposing concepts. Common opposites we discuss in DBT are

BEHAVIOR means changing what we DO. Similar to CBT*, we know that emotions, thoughts, and behaviors all impact each other. But the easiest thing to change is our behavior.

CBT emotions behaviors and thoughts triangle. You can get DBT treatment in Rockville, MD to help with trauma and more.

TRY THIS: Compare how long it takes to snap your fingers vs how long it takes to THINK about what you wore yesterday. Then, THINK about how long it takes you to snap vs how long it takes to actually FEEL the anger from being cut-off in traffic. The snap (behavior) happens is the quickest, right?!

So, when you use new behaviors to get through difficult thoughts or emotions, we can experience change. You can start to feel better quicker AND stop the maladaptive coping habits that get in the way of our goals!

* The difference between CBT and DBT is that DBT focuses more on relationships. Relationships trigger the most intense emotions. AND, relationships are also typically most impacted by displays of intense emotion!

The MCCC Way of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Graph that describes whether or not Montgomery County Counseling Center is the best fit for your child. The y axis is lower safety risk to higher safety risk and the X axis is less willing to more willing. 

In the top left quadrant (high safety risk low willingness) is a red stop light and description"MCCC is definitely not a fit. We recommend more intensive services than outpatient therapy. 

In the top right quadrant (high safety risk more willingness) is a yellow stop light and description"MCCC might be a fit but we will require you to do some type of parent/family work AND child/teen work to get started, and we will refer out if necessary." 

In the bottom left quadrant (low safety risk low willingness) is a green stop light and description "MCCC is a fit! But we strongly recommend starting with some type of parent/family work before starting with child/teen work.

In the bottom right quadrant (low safety risk high willingness) is a green stop light and description "MCCC is a fit! We are happy to work with anyone who wants the support."

Comprehensive DBT treatment combines skills training groups, individual therapy, and phone coaching. At MCCC we offer phone coaching on a case-by-case basis. This means we are as close to comprehensive as they come without being fully considered a Comprehensive DBT Program. In fact, our approach to DBT is much more flexible than many others’! First, we’ll start with an assessment and then move into treatment if you are a good fit for DBT at MCCC!

In DBT Skills Group, we focus on teaching client tools they need to both cope with and change the intense emotions in their lives. These skills exist in 4 main categories.

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Distress Tolerance
  3. Emotion Regulation
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness

The goal of group is simply to learn skills. The application of these skills, and emotional processing happens in individual therapy.

In DBT individual therapy, we track emotions and behaviors in order to identify patterns and correlations. We will identify the chain of events between emotions thoughts and actions. Then, we help you apply the new skills to the chain, so you can reduce the unwanted emotions or behaviors and help you meet your goals!

We use the DBT Hierarchy of Targets to guide our thinking throughout each session and the overall process of therapy. You can read more about this on our blog post here!

DBT Hierarchy Of treatment Targets with life threatening behaviors at the top, treatment interfering behaviors in the middle and quality of life interfering behaviors at the bottom. Through Dialectical behavioral therapy in Rockville, MD you can get the counseling and healing you need. You can also get help with family therapy in rockville, md

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