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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.

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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