What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is the gold standard treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. It is also used to help distressed people who regularly self- harm and make repeated suicide attempts or engage in risky behaviours.

It was developed in the 1990’s and became established as an evidenced based and effective long-term intervention. It is also highly effective when used to treat mood disorders and recovery from sexual abuse.

DBT teaches patients lifelong skills which enable them to manage their overwhelming emotions better and improves their quality of life and relationships with others.

Who benefits from DBT?

Individuals who :

  • Experience their emotions as overwhelming and as a result use negative ways to ‘dull’ the pain
  • Feel out of control
  • Find it hard to trust others
  • Feel rejected, alone, or experience devasting grief when a relationship ends
  • Are diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder/borderline personality disorder
  • Self-Harm when distressed

  • Feel suicidal or make suicidal attempts.

How does it work?

DBT is a specialised intervention only delivered by a specialist clinician. It is made up of individual therapy and group skills training.

The skills learnt have four components and are divided into 4 modules:

  • Mindfulness

  • Emotion regulation

  • Distress Tolerance

  • Interpersonal effectiveness skills

Key Points on The Modules

DBT is not merely a psychological therapy but a life programme. Patients usually enter DBT as a treatment to prevent serious self-harm, suicide or distressing emotions. As the programme progresses, they are able to build a long-lasting effective structure to support an enriching well-being. It is without doubt that DBT has saved many lives.

DBT is a long-term therapy and is provided on a 12-month contract comprising of individual and group weekly sessions plus between session telephone contact. Admission to the program is following Lighthouse Psychology clinical assessment.

Treatment takes place at Waterford Lighthouse Psychology clinic.

Please contact us for further details, fees and starting dates.