What is DBT?

The Goals of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan as an treatment for individuals struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder. Research has demonstrated that DBT can help both teens and adults and is helpful for a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, substance use, disordered eating, impulsivity/self harm and chronic pain. The goal of DBT is improve ones ability to cope with stress, regulate emotions, interact with others and be more present in the moment. Comprehensive DBT includes skills training group, individual therapy and coaching. At this time, Clinicians at Middle Path Therapy offer individual therapy and skills training group. At this time coaching is not available.

Multifamily Skills Training Group

DBT skills training group consists of five modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and walking the middle path.


Core mindfulness skills are essential strategies that help individuals fully engage in the present moment. Mindfulness skills allow us to be fully aware of our thoughts feelings and behaviours in a given moment, which can help us decide how we might respond to it.

Distress Tolerance

The distress tolerance module provides individuals with crisis survival skills to help get through moments of distress without making it worse or engaging in harmful or ineffective behaviours. This module also provides teaching on reality acceptance skills. These skills are based on the premise that pain and distress are inevitable parts of life and refusing to accept this will only increase suffering and discomfort.

Emotion Regulation

The emotion regulation module covers the function of emotions, and assists clients in better identifying and understanding their emotions and emotional responses. During this module clients learn skills to decrease emotional sensitivity, and how to learn to react to emotions in a less intense way and increase positive experiences

Interpersonal Effectiveness

The Interpersonal Effectiveness Module focuses on providing skills and strategies to engage more effectively during interpersonal interactions in everyday life. This includes asking for something, saying no, maintaining self respect and maintaining important relationships, as well as dealing with challenging interpersonal interactions.

Walking the Middle Path

Walking the Middle Path is a module specific to adolescents and their families. This module focuses on resolving conflict and problem solving by balancing acceptance and change.