Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy which is commonly referred to as DBT is an evidence-based therapeutic treatment. The goal of DBT is to help people honor the idea that two opposite beliefs can exist at the same time and both beliefs hold truth. This concept that two beliefs can co-exist is referred to as dialectic.

Dialectics can be tough to identify. But, here’s an easily recognizable dialectic: having a feeling that does not match what you factually know to be true. For example, you may feel like if you’re in danger when you’re in a safe place. Other common dialectics include emotions versus logic, beliefs versus facts, change versus acceptance, and more.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is Used to Treat a Variety of Mental Health Concerns

depressed man stands next to choppy water representing the distress you may feel before beginning counseling and dialectical behavior therapy in Marietta, GA at Foundry Counseling

DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder and life-threatening or dangerous behavior like self-harm, aggression, and suicidality. However, research shows that DBT is extremely helpful at treating a variety of concerns including:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal or self-harming thoughts/behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Behavioral Concerns

DBT Consists of Five Groups of Skills:


Mindfulness means being aware. With these skills, you learn how to be aware of thoughts, feelings, and urges within you. Additionally, you will become aware of vulnerabilities and/or triggers in your environment. As you gain awareness of these, you are able to see opportunities to resist urges and focus on more helpful and healthy activities or thoughts, prevent the interaction with the vulnerability and/or trigger, or cope ahead if you are not able to avoid them.

Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance means putting up with an unwanted part of your reality. It could be a person, place, time of day, memory, thought, emotion, etc. When you learn and practice distress tolerance, you are working to decreasing your emotional response to various triggers as quickly as possible to prevent you from acting solely on emotion. When your emotions are high, you begin to lose your ability to think rationally. So, you need to get back to a place where you can consider the facts and weigh out the pros and cons of a scenario. The goal of DBT is to get you to a point where you do not need to use these skills on a frequent basis.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation skills that you do on a daily and weekly basis to reduce vulnerability and increase stability. For example, emotional regulation skills may include things like consistent personal hygiene, medication adherence, exercise, accumulating positive experiences, working on a hobby, etc.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness skills help you interact with others in a way that works while honoring your values, needs, and wants.

The Middle Path Skills

The middle path skills are what ties all the other skills together. They help you balance out acceptance and change, validate ourselves and others, recover from invalidation. Also, they help you and your therapist understand how to reinforce desired behaviors.

The Foundry Counseling’s Approach to Adherent Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

There are four specific components of adherent DBT

  1. young man sits in the therapist's office during a session of dialectical behavior therapy in Marietta, GA at Foundry CounselingIndividual DBT sessions. During sessions, we review a Diary Card and using a Behavioral Chain Analysis (BCA) as needed. During this time we look at factors that trigger problematic behavior.
  2. Skills group focused on learning DBT skills. These groups occur over a period of months. During the group, you will learn one skill at a time.
  3. Phone coaching in between sessions. This allows you to reach out to your therapist for coaching to manage hard situations effectively. But, if it was a life-threatening emergency, you would call 911 first, and then call your therapist after you have been stabilized.
  4. Your therapist is an active participant in a consultation team that is comprised of other professionals who are working together to help you find success in counseling.

DBT has many applications to different types of people and circumstances bringing them to counseling. Furthermore, DBT is successful when working with both adults and teens.  Therapists, Christina, David, and Karla are intensively trained in DBT and have provided various training and presentations on DBT. In fact, Christina is one of several Linehan Certified DBT therapists in Georgia.

Begin Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Atlanta, GA

happy man with his arms in the air after finding healing through dialectical behavior therapy or DBT in marietta, GA at foundry counselingIf you’re ready to begin DBT and live in the Atlanta area, we would be honored to speak with you about the many ways we can help you overcome your personal challenges and heal from distress. To begin counseling in Marietta, GA or online therapy in Georgia, follow these steps:

  1. Contact our Atlanta-area counseling center
  2. Set up a free consultation appointment and speak with a DBT therapist
  3. Begin DBT and work on the issues that matter most to you in counseling.

Other Services Offered at Foundry Counseling

Our Atlanta-area counseling center offers a wide variety of counseling services for your entire family. Our counseling services include online therapy, counseling for first responders, individual therapy, DBT, family therapyfaith-based counseling, trauma and PTSD treatment, couples therapy, anxiety treatment, and addictions counselingContact our therapy office to learn more about how we can help you or your loved ones build peace and confidence in your life.

376 Powder Springs St. Ste. 140
Marietta, GA 30064

(888) 700-1030

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