DBT Skills Training in an Inpatient Setting

Some mental illnesses can be treated by attending therapy sessions. For more severe mental illnesses, attending a treatment center may be required. Getting treatment for your mental illness at DBT residential treatment centers such as Emerald Isle Health & Recovery allows you to work deeply on your issues without the turbulence of the outside world.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is considered the best treatment for a range of mental illnesses, including Borderline Personality Disorder. Receiving DBT treatment at an accredited treatment center is considered an ideal way to treat mental illness that proves challenging to treat outside a residential clinical environment.

Keep reading to learn more about our treatment center DBT offerings, and how Emerald Isle employs a trauma-informed approach to help our clients find lasting recovery!

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior TherapyDialectical behavior therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is designed to help people who have a borderline personality disorder and other mental health disorders.

Dialectical behavioral therapy takes a holistic approach to treatment, emphasizing the mind, body, and environment in order to promote wellness and reduce symptoms of borderline personality disorder. The therapist works with the person in therapy to identify triggers, modify behaviors and build skills for managing emotions.

Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Through the use of these skills, people with borderline personality disorder can better cope with overwhelming emotions, tolerate distress, regulate their emotions, and effectively communicate with others. Research has shown that dialectical behavior therapy is an effective treatment for borderline personality disorder and other illnesses.

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that affects how a person feels about themselves and their relationships with others. People with BPD often experience extreme mood swings, impulsive behavior, feelings of emptiness, unstable self-image, volatile relationships, and difficulty controlling emotions. Other symptoms may include extreme fear of abandonment, frequent self-harming behaviors, outbursts of anger, and recurring suicidal thoughts or actions.

Treatment for BPD usually involves talk therapy, medication, and/or family therapy. The primary goal is to help people manage their symptoms so that they can lead healthier lives. With proper treatment and support, many people with borderline personality disorder are able to lead productive lives.

What are the goals of DBT?

The primary goal of DBT is to help you develop effective skills to manage your emotions in order to improve interpersonal functioning and decrease destructive behaviors. The therapeutic approach promotes mindfulness and emphasizes both acceptance and change strategies. It teaches four sets of skills: distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Radical acceptance and practicing acceptance more generally are also hallmarks of DBT.

Distress tolerance skills are designed to help you tolerate difficult emotions without becoming overwhelmed or engaging in maladaptive behavior. Mindfulness skills help you stay present at the moment and accept reality without judgment. Emotion regulation skills are aimed at helping you understand and manage your emotions more effectively, while interpersonal effectiveness skills help you build healthy relationships with others.

What does DBT involve?

Individual Therapy Session

DBT consists of both individual therapy sessions and weekly group sessions, which help individuals practice new skills in an environment that is safe, supportive, and non-judgmental. During individual sessions, clients learn how to identify triggers for negative emotions, recognize patterns of maladaptive behaviors, and develop personalized strategies to reduce distress. Group sessions often focus on teaching specific skills such as mindfulness techniques or problem-solving methods.

In addition to traditional talk therapy techniques, DBT also incorporates aspects of eastern philosophy such as meditation and yoga. It is a highly effective treatment if you struggle with self-harm, suicidal ideation, or intense emotional distress. With support from an experienced DBT therapist, clients can learn how to manage their emotions more effectively and build healthier relationships with others.

By teaching skills like distress tolerance, mindfulness, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness, DBT helps you gain insight into their thoughts and feelings while learning how to cope in difficult situations.

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The elements of DBT

There are a few different elements of DBT. Let’s take a close look at them.


The first step in DBT for depression is psychotherapy, which focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of the condition. This includes exploring the person’s feelings, thoughts, and behavior patterns that may be contributing to their depression. Through this process, you can gain insight into their own emotions and learn coping strategies to better manage them.

Skills training

The second step in DBT for depression is skills training, which focuses on teaching you new, effective ways of dealing with your emotions and managing their symptoms. These skills include mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and cognitive restructuring. Through these sessions, you learn how to identify negative thoughts or emotions, manage them more effectively, and use problem-solving skills to address your depression.

Support and coaching

Finally, the third step in DBT for depression is support and coaching. This focuses on providing you with encouragement and guidance as you learn new skills and practice using them in everyday life. Through this process, they are able to make lasting changes that can help them cope with their depression in a more positive manner.

Alternatives to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Alternatives to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT is not the only way that mental illnesses can be addressed. There are other types of therapy that may be effective for certain mental illnesses.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors. Typically, CBT courses last around 12 sessions and occur once a week. If CBT sessions happen in a treatment center, they may occur more frequently.

The goal of CBT is to help individuals recognize and modify unhealthy or distorted thinking patterns, which can lead to improved mental well-being. This type of therapy also helps you develop and practice healthy coping skills for dealing with difficult situations in the future. CBT often involves analyzing and understanding the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

It also focuses on developing new strategies for managing stress, anxiety, depression, and other difficult emotions. By identifying unhealthy thinking patterns and beliefs that contribute to emotional distress, you can begin to make positive changes in their lives. CBT can help you build self-awareness and personal insight. This type of therapy can be beneficial for people experiencing problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Sessions are typically brief in duration with sessions lasting between 30 minutes to an hour in length. It is often offered on an individual basis, but can also be offered in a group setting. Sessions may involve topics such as identifying and changing negative thought patterns, coping with stress and anxiety, problem-solving techniques, and relaxation strategies. The therapist will work with you to identify areas of difficulty and develop strategies to create positive change.

FAQs about DBT and DBT Treatment Centers

Do you still have questions about DBT? Here are some of the most common questions that people have regarding DBT.

Who can benefit from dialectical behavior therapy?

DBT is an evidence-based treatment that has been used to effectively treat a variety of mental health disorders. Individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and other emotional challenges can often benefit from DBT. Additionally, individuals without any diagnosable mental health conditions may also be able to find relief from their emotional struggles with DBT.

How long does residential treatment Dialectical Behavior Therapy last?

The length of residential treatment varies depending on the individual and the specific goals that they are trying to achieve. Generally, however, most residential treatment programs last between one and three months. In some cases, such as when treating severe mental illness, the treatment may need to be extended. Intensive Outpatient Programs generally last for similar periods of time.

What can I expect from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Typically, individuals who participate in DBT will receive individual therapy sessions and attend weekly skills-based group therapy. During individual sessions, you and your therapist will work together to identify areas of behavior that need improvement and develop an individualized treatment plan.

During the skills-based group sessions, you will learn various coping strategies and skills that can be used to manage difficult emotions and behaviors. In addition, your therapist may also assign homework assignments that you should complete in order to practice the skills learned in the session.

If you have Dialectical Behavioral Therapy sessions in a treatment center environment, the same is true, but the healing process is likely to be more intense, and you will have more sessions per week at your treatment center.

What are some of the benefits of dialectical behavior therapy?

The primary goal of DBT is to help individuals become more mindful and aware of their emotions and behavior in order to better manage them. As a result, many individuals experience measurable improvements in their mental health and overall wellbeing. Additionally, those who participate in DBT often report increased self-esteem, improved interpersonal relationships, greater emotional regulation skills, and improved problem-solving skills.

Is dialectical behavior therapy right for me?

The best way to determine if DBT is the right treatment option for you is to discuss it with Emerald Isle Health & Recovery. They can help assess your specific needs and help you decide if DBT is the most appropriate form of treatment for you. Your therapist can also provide more information about what to expect from the treatment process, as well as answer any questions you may have.

Is dialectical behavior therapy covered by insurance?

In many cases, insurance companies will cover at least part of the cost of DBT depending on your specific plan and provider. You should contact your insurance company directly to find out if they cover DBT and what your options are for coverage.

Is dialectical behavior therapy suitable for children and adolescents?

Yes, DBT can be an effective mental health treatment option for children and adolescents. It is important to note that the approach may need to be modified in order to accommodate the developmental needs of younger individuals. Additionally, it is important to find a therapist who has experience working with children and adolescents, as well as specialized training in DBT.

Does dialectical behavior therapy involve medication?

No, DBT does not typically involve the use of medications. The focus of DBT is on developing skills and strategies for managing emotions, which can be done without the use of medication. However, treatment centers may recommend medication in addition to DBT if they feel it is necessary.

If you attend a DBT residential treatment program, your need for medications may be assessed to see whether you would benefit from medication.

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A DBT Treatment Program Approach Built Around You

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is considered the most effective treatment for mental health conditions including Borderline Personality Disorder and other forms of mental health disorders that are often difficult to address at a conventional treatment center.

If you are interested in hearing more about how our residential treatment programs using DBT can help you overcome mental illness and/or substance abuse, reach out for more information today. All calls to Emerald Isle Health & Recovery treatment centers are completely confidential, so please reach out now!