Green Leaves

What is DBT?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is recognised as the gold standard psychological treatment for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It was originally developed by Dr Marsha Linehan. Research has shown that DBT is also effective in treating a wide range of other problems such as substance dependence, depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and anger.


DBT is a comprehensive, intensive treatment that changes lives.


DBT involves a number of elements:

  • Skills training in groups

  • Individual therapy

  • Between-session coaching

  • Consultation team (DBT treating team)

Who can benefit from DBT?

  • People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

  • People experiencing difficulty managing anger and other intense emotions

  • People with intense interpersonal difficulties

  • People with problems with impulsive behaviours, such as overspending, overeating, substance use, self-harming

  • People with suicidal thoughts and behaviours

Skills taught in DBT

In standard comprehensive DBT, as developed by Dr Marsha Linehan, skills in four core areas are taught:


Mindfulness skills

Skills for reducing suffering and increasing happiness, increasing control of your mind, and experiencing reality as it is

Distress tolerance skills

Skills for surviving emotional crisis situations without making them worse, and accepting reality when you cannot change it

Emotion regulation skills

Skills for understanding your emotions, decreasing the frequency of unwanted emotions, decreasing emotional vulnerability, and decreasing emotional suffering  

Interpersonal effectiveness skills

Skills to help you get what you want and need from others, build relationships and end destructive ones, and walk the ‘middle path’ in relationships