Saturday, June 23, 2018
Miami Beach Psychologist - Dialectical Main Image
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dr. Kalsner-Silver and her associates are members of Miami's first and only intensively-trained Dialectical Behavior Therapy team. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., in the 1990's for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder and severe dysfunctional behaviors (people engaging in self-harm and suicidal behaviors). However, research demonstrates that DBT can be highly effective in treating a range of problems including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

DBT treatment emphasizes the practice of DBT skills taught in a group format and reinforced by the individual DBT therapist. DBT skills are taught in four modules:

  • Core Mindfulness Skills: Skills to increase the capacity to pay attention, non-judgmentally to the present moment so that individuals develop the capacity to manage thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
  • Distress Tolerance: Skills for tolerating painful, distressing emotions and urges. Developing distress tolerance allows clients to manage upsetting events more effectively.
  • Emotion Regulation: Skills for understanding, experiencing, and managing emotions in an effective, non-harmful style.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Skills to maintain and enhance interpersonal relationships. Importantly, clients learn to manage interpersonal conflict, develop assertiveness skills, and maintain self-respect.

Clients are asked to practice skills daily and track their urges in a skills diary card that is reviewed with the individual therapist to reinforce the practice of skills for the client's maximum likelihood of success in changing harmful behaviors. For this reason, the DBT model requires that the person enrolled in a skills training group also attend weekly individual sessions with a one of our DBT-trained therapists.

We are currently offering an individual DBT treatment approach for those clients who would like to incorporate this model into their treatment plan. We also offer groups during evening hours for both adolescents and adults. In addition, we also work in collaboration with The Counseling Group in Miami, and DBT by Design, private practices that are members of our intensively trained DBT team.