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Couples Therapy
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Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Calgary

Research has shown that DBT has a much wider application and is effective for several conditions including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, eating disorders, self-destructive behaviours, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


DBT is based on the principle of dialectics - by integrating and finding a balance between opposites. The main dialectic of DBT is acceptance and change, intending to find a balance in between.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

Therapeutic Models of DBT

DBT therapeutic focus consists of four modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

1. Distress Tolerance skills allow you to cope better in stressful or painful situations. The focus is on building up your resilience to deal with distress. By building up skills to distract, self-soothe, relax and accept, you are better able to cope with your overwhelming emotions. 


2. Mindfulness is learning to “live in the moment”. The focus is on being present, mindful and accepting. Mindfulness is achieved by bringing awareness to your thoughts, emotions, sensations and actions. Also, mindfulness is being able to hold a non-judgmental perspective. By slowing you down and creating calmness, it can reduce negative thoughts and impulsive behaviours.


3. Emotional regulation is learning to identify, recognize, manage and change our emotions

We learn to not allow our emotions to overwhelm us which reduces the likelihood of impulsive or destructive reactions. 


4. Interpersonal effectiveness is understanding our beliefs and needs and expressing them to others healthily and respectfully. We also learn to set appropriate boundaries where necessary. Interpersonal effectiveness includes social skills, assertiveness, and listening, and negotiation skills. By improving our interpersonal effectiveness we are better able to maintain and improve our relationships.

What Can I Expect During DBT

DBT can be delivered in several methods

  • Individual Therapy

  • Group Setting

  • Phone Coaching

  • Any combination thereof

The particular delivery of DBT varies and is dependent on the client, therapist and situation 


In individual counselling sessions, you will work one-on-one with your therapist to address concerns, create goals and outline a plan of action. Your therapist will support and motivate you as you learn DBT skills and techniques which can be applied to real-life situations. 


In DBT groups, participants learn and practice skills with one another. Members learn from the experience of their peers and are there to offer one another support. Groups are lead by a trained therapist who will teach skills and lead exercises. The therapist may assign homework to complete at home. 

Phone coaching involves patients calling the therapist in between sessions to receive guidance in situations of crisis. Phone sessions are to aid clients in regulating emotions and applying skills in real-life situations.

  • What are the steps I need to take to begin the couples counselling process?
    If you or your partner are worried about your relationship the first step you need to take is requesting a free 20-minute consultation. From this point we will book an appointment in person or online and then develop goals from there to best meet your needs.
  • What do you cover in couples counselling?
    I will work with you to develop a therapeutic plan designed to address your unique needs, goals, and problems/issues. Together we will prioritize which goals you would like to "target" first.
  • What's your clinical counselling timings?
    At the Thrive Business Centre: Tue & Thurs: 12 pm - 9 pm & Wed: 2 - 8 pm, At the Sunalta location: Monday and Friday from 12 pm - 9 pm. Subsequent sessions focus on your individualized goals. Appointments are between 1 - 3 weeks apart to give you opportunities to work on the skills you have learned from the previous therapy sessions.
  • How can someone outside my relationship really help me?
    Seeing a therapist can help you identify issues that you may not have seen at the time and then equip you with the tools you need to fix these issues and develop a better connection with your partner.
  • How long does the couples counselling process last?
    This process is a little different for everyone. It will depend on how much work you have to do, how often I see you, and how hard you work towards your goals.
  • Will my health insurance cover most of the costs of couples counselling?
    Almost all Extended Health Care Plans cover all or a portion of the costs for a psychologist under "psychologist services", "psychotherapy", or "counselling". Contact your insurance agent for more information on reimbursement procedures and coverage information. Direct Billing can be performed for a number of companies. Direct billing is where the Psychologist will bill your insurance company and you will only be responsible to pay for your portion of the session cost. Click here to see if yours can be directly billed.
  • Will my partner and I always attend couples counselling sessions together?
    Attending couples counselling sessions together works best for the relationship. It will help to see both sides of the story and different perspectives on the issues you wish to tackle. If for whatever reason you or your partner can not make it to the session we can always reschedule up to 24 hours beforehand.
  • Can I come for couples counselling without my partner?
    We recommend coming together, but if one of you can not make it we can reschedule up to 24 hours beforehand. We also offer individual counselling for individual issues outside the relationship: anger management, communication skills, conflict resolution, emotional expression

Get Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) in Calgary

If you are unsure whether we can meet your counselling or assessment needs give us a call to receive a free consultation. You can then decide whether we are a good fit for you or your family.

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