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DBT helped me with my illness because it taught me other ways to express myself. Now, I can express my emotions in different words and I've really expanded my vocabulary so other people know what I am feeling and how they can help me.

– Grayson C.

On Our Blog

After graduating from Skyland Trail, Gloria continues to use her DBT skills that she learned while in treatment.
Read more >

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT Therapy for Emotional Regulation

We treat each individual, individually, tailoring an approach that includes a broad mix of evidence-based one-on-one and group therapies that help prepare our clients for reintegration into their lives. 

For clients who struggle with regulating their emotions and intense relationships, we offer a specialized Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) community. We offer DBT as an intensive, specialized program for clients for whom DBT is indicated, including those with a primary diagnosis of a mood or thought disorder along with a co-occurring borderline personality disorder diagnosis. 

Clients who participate in our intensive DBT community often have symptoms that include impulsivity, self-injurious behaviors or frequent suicide attempts. They also often have extreme emotional reactions to what others perceive as "normal" frustrations or mildly stressful situations. Many of our DBT clients have tried other models of therapy unsuccessfully. 

DBT is offered as a specialized community in our residential treatment and day treatment programs. We also offer DBT skill-based groups for all of our clients. DBT teaches useful strategies and skills that can complement other therapeutic approaches.

What is DBT?

Skyland Trail applies a system-wide DBT approach to a continuum of care from residential to day treatment to intensive outpatient programs. Our around-the-clock, certified DBT treatment team is trained in coaching DBT skills and understands how to support recovery for our DBT clients.

Our DBT Recovery Community provides a validating and safe environment for clients to learn coping skills to manage the stress that they encounter in life. Skills are taught in four modules:

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

Through one-on-one and group therapy sessions, DBT clients learn to be aware of what they are thinking and feeling in the moment. Instead of becoming overwhelmed and reacting with intense or desperate behavior, clients learn to recognize their specific emotions and respond with healthy strategies to maintain control and feel better. 

Practice is key. Clients practice using their new skills in our adjunctive therapy groups and in "real world" situations as they gradually take on greater daily responsibilities and move toward independent living.

Results of DBT Treatment at Skyland Trail

Learning healthy coping and interpersonal skills after years of relying on maladaptive behaviors to handle stress is challenging and difficult work. But with a new set of skills as a resource, our clients can benefit more fully from less intensive, ongoing therapy and supportive social relationships.

After leaving Skyland Trail, our graduates often transition to weekly therapy with an outpatient psychotherapist who can continue to help them manage stress appropriately, build meaningful relationships and achieve their goals. Dr. Marsha Linehan, who developed DBT, described the goal of dialectical behavior therapy as creating "a life worth living."

Dr. Eric Chavez

Psychiatrist, Dr. Chavez talks about DBT at Skyland Trail. 
Watch video >

On Our Blog

On Our Blog

Learning how to survive through DBT at Skyland Trail
Shelley's story >

On Our Blog

On Our Blog

Doughnuts and the Beach: The Importance of DBT
Blog by Dr. Ray Kotwicki >

Expert Interview

Expert Interview

DBT creator, Dr. Marsha Linehan, spoke with Skyland Trail about her work.
Read interview >