The 90-day residential DBT treatment program at Skyland Trail addresses stage 1 of DBT therapy, which focuses on attaining foundational skills and capacity to manage suicidal behaviors, therapy-interfering behaviors, major quality-of-life-interfering behaviors, and deficits in behavioral skills. Dr. Marsha Linehan, creator of DBT, describes the goal of stage 1 as, "moving from being out of control of one's behavior to being in control."
Although many clients in our DBT program are learning to cope with trauma, the focus of stage 1 of DBT therapy does not involve working directly on post-traumatic stress. Instead, the goal of DBT treatment at Skyland Trail is to help clients develop practical strategies to cope with intense emotions so that they can prevent repeat hospitalizations, practice healthy coping skills, and build trusting relationships with therapists.
Once they have learned the shared language and framework of DBT, and can use DBT skills to effectively participate in therapy and supportive social relationships, clients are prepared to continue therapeutic work on an outpatient basis in the community while living independently.
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