Outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Formal outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) consists of a weekly skills group to learn the skills, and a weekly individual session with a therapist trained in DBT, to apply the skills to the client’s individual circumstances. 

The weekly skills groups last one hour and fifteen minutes. The groups work through each DBT skill module (Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation), which takes six months to be introduced to all the skills. We ask that people commit to participating for at least 6 months but recommend going through the teaching sequence at least twice. 

Each group begins with a mindfulness exercise which is followed by a brief check-in, homework review, skills teaching, and ends with a homework assignment. Assigned homework is designed to reinforce the skills taught in group that day.

Treatment Approach

DBT is more intensive than traditional outpatient therapy. Clients are expected to attend a weekly DBT Skills Group while meeting weekly with a DBT-trained therapist. The DBT skills are taught and practiced in a group setting. Each group member learns the skills and then shares with other members how they did using the skills. Members benefit from their own efforts and learn from what others have done.

In the individual sessions, the client and therapist collaborate to apply the skills to life challenges the client is experiencing. In addition, the therapist is available for “coaching,” which provides clients with assistance in applying the skills they are learning to ‘real life’ problems. The skills training group takes approximately six months to cover skills for emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT Skill Modules

Every week individuals will learn skills from the four modules of DBT: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance, and Emotion Regulation.

Mindfulness skills are core skills in DBT as they teach being in the present moment. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing conscious awareness to thoughts, feelings, behaviors, bodily sensations, and events through observation, description, and participation rather than judgement.

Interpersonal Effectiveness teaches skills that help individuals more effectively and skillfully assert themselves to get their needs met, while maintaining self-respect and relationships. Core skills taught include how to assert oneself to make a request, how to refuse a request, and how to cope with conflict. Effective use of these skills can help increase socialization and enjoyment from relationships with others. Identifying destructive relationships and skills on how to end them are also covered in this section.

Distress Tolerance teaches accepting and coping with painful or distressing emotions or events. These skills help survive a “crisis” situation by accepting the current situation and finding ways to get through it without making things worse.

Emotion Regulation skills help modulate painful emotions that are sometimes linked to impulsive or risky behavior. These skills help one understand current emotions, identify obstacles to changing unwanted emotions, check the facts around emotions, change emotions, and increase positive emotions as well as problem solving skills.

We’re Only a Phone Call Away

Our Intake Coordinators are always available at 314-289-9411 to schedule a confidential assessment if you, a loved one, or a patient may be experiencing a mental health issue. For additional questions about our programs, you can also use our online contact form.

In the case of a medical emergency or crisis, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Contact Us

New patients please call Intake Coordinators at:

314-289-9411

City of St. Louis, Missouri (Macklind)

1129 Macklind Ave, 
St. Louis, MO 63110 
314-534-0200 (returning patients)

Chesterfield, Missouri (West County)

16216 Baxter Rd. Stes 205 and 225,
Chesterfield, MO 63017
636-532-9188 (returning patients)

Belleville, Illinois

521 W. Main St. Ste 201B, 
Belleville, IL 62220
618-825-0051 (returning patients)