What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?

Dialectical behaviour therapy is an approach to mental health treatment that is often used for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, which focuses on changing thoughts and behaviours, mindfulness, which helps regulate emotions, and interpersonal therapy, which helps people learn to manage their relationships.
Individuals learn to identify their emotions and manage them in healthy ways. DBT also enables individuals to understand why they have such extreme emotional responses to situations and what they can do to self-regulate.

How Can DBT Work?

Dialectical behaviour therapy is based on the idea that people with borderline personality disorder are often struggling with an internal struggle between different parts of themselves. The therapist teaches them to manage this internal struggle by identifying which parts of themselves are fighting and why they're fighting. The goal is to reconcile those parts of themselves so they can make decisions in a more healthy way. DBT teaches effective skills which helps people better communicate how they're feeling and get their needs met in healthy ways.


Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, without judgement. It helps individuals focus on being present while acknowledging thoughts, feelings and behaviours as they happen.

Distress Tolerance

The goal of distress tolerance is to help you become less sensitive to the stressors in your life, and to give you the ability to endure and cope with overwhelming feelings when you're in a crisis.

Emotional Regulation

Emotion regulation is the ability to manage your own emotions so that they do not control your thoughts and behaviours and to reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of negative emotions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

By improving interpersonal skills, individuals are better able to establish and maintain relationships with other people. They do this while maintaining self-respect and communicating their need.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness that affects how you think, feel, and behave. People with BPD have difficulty regulating their emotions, which causes them to experience negative feelings like anger, anxiety, depression, and guilt more intensely than most. They also have problems keeping their feelings under control and tend to be impulsive in ways that can be harmful to themselves and others.

People with BPD often have intense and unstable relationships with other people. They may idealize someone one day and then quickly switch to seeing them as a villain the next day. This instability in relationships can make it very difficult for people with BPD to maintain healthy relationships with friends or romantic partners.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapists

Michelle Koerner
Virtual & In-Person

Michelle Koerner

Mental Health Therapist MSW, RSW
$200 per hour
Michelle works with individuals who are living with anger issues, anxiety, childhood trauma, codependency, domestic violence, grief & loss, personality disorders, PTSD, self esteem issues, and more.
Dailyn Mccalla
Virtual & In-Person

Dailyn Mccalla

Provisional Psychologist
$200 per hour
Dailyn works with individuals, couples, and youth with a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, developmental disorders, depression, trauma, PTSD, eating disorders, gender and sexuality, families, trauma and more.
Joel Brooks
Virtual & In-Person

Joel Brooks

Registered Psychologist
$180 per hour
Joel works with adults and youth living with substance abuse issues, anxiety disorders, depression, and personality disorders. He also provides ADHD assessments, psycho-educational assessments, mental health assessments, personality assessments and social emotional assessments.

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