We offer a variety of therapeutic options at Bloomfield DBT for individuals and families. DBT is an evidence-based practice and scientifically proven to work. We also provide trainings and seminars to local practitioners, community agencies and schools in the community by providing educational seminars on a variety of topics. For more information about the services we offer, please contact us.
Relationship Issues, Chronic Illnesses, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Trauma, Impulse Control, Anger Management, Behavior Issues, Coping Skills, Eating Disorders, Emotional Disturbance, Insomnia, Self Esteem, Self-Harming Behaviors, Addiction, Co-Dependency, Divorce, Suicidal ideation, and Personality Disorders.
Skills Groups That We Offer:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills groups reduce and eliminate self-defeating behaviors and behaviors that interfere with treatment; decrease behaviors that disrupt the quality of life; learn skills that increase positive relationships, end bad relationships and build healthy new relationships; increase awareness to the present moment; understand what emotions are, how they function, and how to experience them in a healthy way; and learn how to tolerate emotional pain without becoming overwhelmed. Skills groups are offered in the evenings and on weekends.
Parent skills groups teach DBT skills including mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance skills while providing psycho-education to family members who have a family member that struggles with emotion regulation problems. Parents learn how to communicate effectively with their children and how to regulate their emotions in difficult situations. Parents are also taught how to validate their child. This group allows parents to notice and acknowledge when your child is using their skills. Parents report that the skills are useful not only with their children but in their own lives relative to work, with spouses/significant others and friends. We hear from clients that when their parents participate, it motivates them to continue to use their skills. Parent groups are offered twice a month on Monday or Thursday evenings. During the assessment/orientation stage of treatment, start dates will be discussed for parent participation. Our parent coach is also available to meet with parents on an individual basis to work on specific individual needs within the family. The parent coach is available to all parents participating in the program for phone coaching outside of the skills groups and/or individual sessions to use skills to get through difficult situations.
How do I join the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program?
The first step to becoming involved in Bloomfield DBT is to participate in an assessment to determine eligibility and readiness. This is called the pre-treatment stage and at this appointment, the therapist will explore the client’s commitment to DBT and provide education and engagement. The therapist will then complete a thorough history and a treatment plan to target specific goals. Orientation will proceed after the assessment process. The therapist will then discuss expectations of treatment with the client. Both the client and therapist will make a mutual commitment and agreement prior to treatment beginning. Discussion will take place at this time about the client’s start date in skills group and/or individual therapy sessions.
During the first phase of treatment, therapy is focusing on decreasing any life threatening behaviors (i.e. suicidal behaviors, thoughts, self injury), therapy interfering behaviors (anything that gets in the way of progress in treatment) and quality of life interfering behaviors (eating disorders, substance use, quitting jobs, school or relationship problems, avoiding, lying.) Clients must be alive for the treatment to be effective so commitment to these targets is very important. The second phase of treatment is targeting decreasing emotions and behaviors that get in the way of having a life worth living. This targets helping clients learn how to live their life to the fullest. The third phase is focusing on increasing self worth/respect and learning how to be assertive and work toward key life goals such as get a better job and to solve problems effectively. The fourth phase is moving from a sense of incompleteness towards a life that involves an ongoing capacity for experiences of joy and freedom.
Individual therapy includes meeting with a DBT therapist for individual therapy once a week for 45-60 minutes. Sessions may be more frequent if needed until clients are more stable. These sessions will focus on skills that can be used while working through barriers. Diary cards will be used during the session. These are used to track behaviors that could hinder progress. The clients will notice daily urges, emotions, substance use, lying, and any other targets which they will keep track of daily. They will bring their diary card into their therapy session. They will use their daily card in the check in process of skills training to explore how they used the skills they learned.
Skills group meet once a week for 90 minutes. Classes meet for 8-10 week modules which are focused on Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance and Interpersonal Effectiveness. The skills training groups are psycho-educational in nature. The clients will be expected to participate in learning the material through lecture, exercises, role play, handouts and discussion of the material. The DBT program takes around one year to complete. Skills training can also take place one on one if the therapist assesses that this is the most effective way to teach the client the skills until they are more ready to participate in skills group.
Coaching calls are used in between sessions with your therapist to practice the skills learned when experiencing stressful events. When a client calls for coaching the skills coach will assess the situation, have the client discuss what skills they have been using, think about what skills the client can use and how they can use them, and discuss skills the coach thinks will be effective in the moment. Coaching calls are available 7 days a week with your therapist. All clients will receive their therapist’s cell phone number to contact for coaching. If your therapist is out of the office, another DBT therapist will be available for coaching calls during this absence.
Collaboration is very important with the client’s treatment team including psychiatrists, day treatment providers, schools and hospitals for continuity of care.
What is the focus of DBT?
- Confusion about self, Cognitive Dysregulation
- Labile Moods, Emotions
- Interpersonal Chaos
- Core Mindfulness Skills-These skills work on improving the ability to stay focused, “What” skills (observe, describe and participate) in the present moment, while using the “How” skills (non judgmentally, one mindfully and effectively.) Mindfulness is the core DBT skill. The goal is to get to a place of wisdom or “Wise Mind.” We teach clients how to notice what they are experiencing in a non-judgmental way, focus their attention and be more in control of impulses.
- Distress Tolerance Skills-Teaches client how to reduce impulsive and self harming behaviors, self destructive behaviors and quality of life interfering behaviors. It focuses on how to not make situations worse and survive/tolerate a crisis using skills. We teach skills using distract, self soothe, improve the moment, pros/cons, accepting reality and radical acceptance to get through the crisis.
- Emotion Regulation Skills-Teaches clients how to reduce suffering and vulnerability to emotional triggers and improve one’s ability to cope with emotional pain. Emotion regulation focuses on how to understand how emotions function, ways to increase positive emotions, decrease vulnerability to emotion mind, mindfulness of the current emotion, and opposite action.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills-Teaches how to improve and enhance relationships and one’s ability to get objectives met and become assertive enough to set appropriate boundaries with others. These skills teach clients how to be more assertive in situations by asking/saying no to objectives while maintain the relationship and self respect. We focus on how to improve relationships and build skills to communicate effectively.
How do I ONLY join the DBT skills group?
You may have been referred to us from your current therapist as an addition to your current treatment. To be eligible to participate in the DBT skills group, you would need to complete an assessment and orientation. We offer DBT skills groups for individuals who’s therapist refer them to the clinic to only participate in the group setting. It will be important for the client to sign a release of information form for continuity of care and to coordinate any urgent matters with the person’s treating therapist/psychiatrist while participating in the skills group. You must be seeing an individual therapist to participate in the skills group and your therapist must be willing to coordinate with the skills trainer throughout treatment. All needs will be directed back to your individual therapist if you are seeing a therapist outside of Bloomfield DBT.
*This information was summarized/paraphrased from:
Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. The Guilford Press: New York.
Linehan, M. M. (1993). Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. The Guilford Press: New York.