About DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a compassionate type of behavioral therapy that is intended to help people move towards having a life that feels more meaningful and worth living. It is an evidence based treatment that has proved effective for anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, addictive disorders and impulse control disorders. By combining standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation with the concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance and mindfulness, the skills taught by DBT strengthen a person’s ability to handle their emotions without losing control or engaging in destructive behavior. Combining several therapeutic approaches, DBT was originally designed for severe mental illness (people engaging in self harm or with chronic suicidal thoughts). Research is finding that DBT can be extremely effective in less severe areas, such as anxiety, mild depression, relationship conflict – in essence: wherever there is a need to regulate emotions. Once learned, these skills can be applied in our everyday lives, including stress related to work, family relationships, and medical conditions.

DBT was designed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., beginning in the 1970s. Dr. Linehan pulled from effective treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy, assertiveness training, validation strategies, and Buddhist mindfulness meditations. Dr. Linehan then went on to study DBT in clinical trials, showing that DBT is, in fact, extremely effective in the treatment of patients with chronic suicidal thoughts. Other clinicians have furthered her research into other areas.

We recommend the "What is DBT?" page on Behavioral Tech's website for further reading into the development of and research into Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Behavioral Tech was founded by and collaborates with Dr. Linehan.

Peachtree DBT Group Room