What is DBT?


Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, is an intensive outpatient therapy for people who are struggling to manage their emotions, stress, relationships, and impulsive behaviors (ie: self-injury, suicide, drug/alcohol use, eating disorders).  DBT is a combination of cognitive-behavioral-therapy and mindfulness practice, and has shown to be effective in helping adolescents and adults with these difficulties.

DBT therapists take a compassionate view, accepting you for who you are while helping you change and work toward your goals.  The main goal of DBT is to help you build a life worth living. 

DBT Teaches you to:

  • understand and manage your emotions (Emotion Regulation).
  • handle stress without making impulsive or destructive choices (Distress Tolerance). 
  • get what you need from other people, while keeping your relationships and your self-respect (Interpersonal Effectiveness)
  • focus your mind and center yourself (Mindfulness)
  • balance your thinking and understand other perspectives (Walking the Middle Path)
  • apply all these skills in your real life, so you can build a life worth living 


Our DBT program in a nutshell:
Through a combination of individual counseling and skills training, people learn new ways to get through painful feelings and tolerate pain when they need to, without doing things to make their situation worse.

Individual Therapy Weekly: 
Each client meets weekly with his or her therapist, an experienced clinician intensively trained in DBT therapy to work on:
  • Decreasing life-threatening behaviors (violence to self or others) 
  • Increasing quality-of-life behaviors (things that help you have the life you want)

Skills Class Weekly:  

  • Mindfulness Skills, to build awareness of what is happening inside you and in the world around you Distress Tolerance Skills
  • to get yourself through difficult situations 
  • Emotion Regulation Skills, for recognizing and managing your emotions 
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills, for communicating with others what you want, while keeping your relationships and your self-respect
  • Space in groups is limited as is given as it becomes available.

Family Counseling:

  • Sessions available as needed to for parents and teens to work together on making positive changes.

Phone Coaching:

  • Phone calls with the individual therapist for help applying skills into real-life situations while they are happening.
For more information about how DBT works please read this document provided by Behavior Tech.

MiddlePath Counseling

Bellingham, WA
(360) 201-0120

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