Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT was created by Marsha Linehan, originally a treatment modality for those with Borderline Personality Disorder. Since it was first published in 1993, subsequent research has shown it to be very effective for those struggling with substance use issues. It includes one two hour skills group a week and the skills taught focus on enhancing skills deficits in four areas: 1) Core Mindfulness 2) Emotional Regulation 3) Interpersonal Effectiveness 4) Distress Tolerance. Therapists trained in using this model also use basic behavioral principles in the individual sessions. Clients can expect to spend time filling our weekly report cards to track behaviors and time in session will be spent on doing a behavioral chain to come up with a solution analysis. Clients have access to their counselors outside of sessions and groups via cell phone contact if they are struggling with implementing the skills in a challenging situation. Clients should check with each individual counselor to see what times are best available to call. Counselors also are involved in a weekly consultation meeting to discuss ways in which the counselor’s behavior may be interfering with treatment.


DBT includes four sets of behavioral skills:

  • Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
  • Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
  • Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that you want to change

D7 Treatment houses one of two therapists in the state of Idaho to have gone through the Linehan Board of Certification for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  To learn more of this go to: