Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – an Evidence Based Practice combines cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive or “talk” therapy model that helps someone change their focus, increase stress tolerance and be more present. DBT supports participants in changing unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving by increasing mindfulness and awareness. DBT can help people improve relationships, live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, and better regulate their emotions. DBT can help with a variety of issues, including managing anxiety, regulating intense emotional response tendencies, improving interpersonal relationship skills, decreasing depression and more.
Axis has provided DBT for fifteen years and has found that it is an effective therapy approach for most age groups and a variety of behavioral health issues and diagnosises. Laura McKeon, LCSW, Axis’ Behavioral Health Clinical Supervisor at Columbine in Durango, describes DBT as an effective way for people to improve their lives by reducing unhealthy behaviors and responses. As the director of the DBT group sessions, she has seen many people who participate in DBT make considerable progress in their treatment journey and goals. She has found that the DBT therapy groups offer benefits to almost everyone enrolled because participants learn skills they can use in the moment and throughout their lifetime.
Group therapy can help create connections and offer different perspectives and support for group members as they work together to build their skills. After completing the program, participants often report that the experience was empowering and life changing. A recent Axis DBT participant shared that after completing the DBT session they feel like they can trust themselves again and have new ways of responding to people in their life.
Using groups as part of the DBT program can help by:
- Keeping participants motivated
- Creating a judgment-free space to practice DBT skills
- Feeling recognized, supported, and less alone, as others are going through the same process
- Understanding that shared experiences and connections have long-term positive impacts
Talk to your provider to see if DBT is right for you as everyone experiences therapy differently. DBT availability and program structure may vary or be accessible differently across Axis locations.