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DBT aims to teach people how to live in the moment, cope healthily with stress, regulate emotions, and improve relationships with others.

DBT provides individuals with new skills to process painful emotions and reduce conflict in their relationships. The term “dialectical” comes from the idea that bringing together two opposites in therapy—acceptance and change—can produce more positive results than either of these concepts alone (Behavioral Tech, 2017). Clients can reach their goals when they work with a therapist to synthesize these two opposites (Valentine, Bankoff, Poulin, Reidler, & Pantalone, 2014).

What is the “D” in DBT?

The “D” means “dialectical.” A dialectic is a synthesis or integration of opposites. In DBT, dialectical strategies help both the therapist and the client get unstuck from extreme positions. In this video, learn how dialectical strategies keep the therapy in balance and help clients reach their ultimate goals as quickly as possible.

What is the “B” in DBT?

The “B” stands for “behavioral.” DBT requires a behavioral approach. This means that we assess the situations and target behaviors that are relevant to our clients’ goals in order to figure out how to solve the problems in their lives. Learn how DBT provides you a path to get the change that your clients so desperately need to see (What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy, n.d.).


Is simply being present in the moment, without judgment, overthinking, or invalidating your experience.


Interpersonal Effectiveness

These skills include effective strategies for asking for what you need, how to assertively say ‘no,’ and learning to cope with inevitable interpersonal conflict. 


Distress Tolerance

This skill relates to an ability to accept, in a nonjudgmental fashion, both oneself and the current situation.


Emotion Regulation

A skill to help us understand the function of emotions, the action urge that accompanies each emotion, and whether to heed or oppose these urges.

Dr. Vibh Forsythe Cox Interview

Dr. Vibh Forsythe Cox is a consultant and trainer for Behavioral Tech, the training company founded by DBT treatment developer Dr. Marsha Linehan. Dr. Forsythe Cox is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Washington State, and a DBT-Linehan board of certification certified clinician.  She is the Training and Content Development Specialist at Behavioral Tech and was a primary content developer for Behavioral Tech’s Comprehensive Online Training which is an online training resource for therapists interested in being trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. 


Click the links below to find out more about DBT.

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