Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

What is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy?
DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioural treatment. It usually involves an individual therapy session and a skills group session every week for at least 6 months.

The skills group focuses on how to:

  • manage attention (mindfulness skills)
  • manage and cope with emotions (emotional regulation skills)
  • deal effectively with others (interpersonal skills)
  • tolerate emotional distress (distress tolerance skills)

What types of challenges are best suited for DBT?

DBT has been adapted for the youth population and is an evidence-based treatment. It is usually recommended for those who have tried less intense therapies and are still having challenges. 

DBT is especially effective for the following challenges and disorders:

  • borderline personality disorder
  • suicidal thinking or behaviour ( suicide attempts)
  • self-injury and other self-destructive behaviours
  • anger and anger management
  • problems with emotions (such as intense sadness or recurrent fear)
  • impulsive behaviours that can be dangerous (such as reckless driving, recurrent unsafe sex, etc.)
  • difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships
  • chronic feelings of emptiness
  • problems with substance use
  • eating disorders  such as bingeing and purging

How long will it take?
This depends on the individual, but research shows that 6 months to a year of DBT treatment is most effective. 

BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.