Please watch this video on DBT.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. DBT was originally
developed in the 1980s by Marsha Linehan, a psychologist at the University of Washington. Although
initially intended to help chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder
(BPD; please refer to the accompanying fact sheet for information on BPD), DBT has since been
adapted for and used to effectively treat a number of other psychological problems. The central dialectic
within DBT is to balance acceptance of the person exactly as s/he is in this moment with intense efforts
to change the person’s life to increase adaptive functioning and decrease maladaptive behavior. The
overarching goal of treatment with DBT is to help individuals develop, as Dr. Linehan would say, “a life
Thank you for viewing this video.
Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS
Counseling in Whitefish Bay
Shoreside Therapies, 4530 N Oakland Ave, Whitefish Bay WI
Linehan, M.M. (1993a). Cognitive behavioral therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford
Press. This is the published treatment manual for the entire treatment. Many lay-people say this is a difficult
read, though very helpful. For that reason, many start by reading the skills manual listed next.
Linehan, M. M. (1993b). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York:
Guilford Press. This manual gives an excellent overview of DBT and the skills-training in the program.
Pryor, K. (1993). Don’t Shoot the Dog! New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub. This is a great introduction to
principles of learning and behaviorism by a dolphin trainer. Her techniques apply to all of us.