Modes of Treatment

Our comprehensive DBT program includes the following modes of treatment:

Weekly Individual Therapy

Individual DBT therapists will help the client:

  1. Identify and maintain focus on the primary problems to be addressed
  2. Stay motivated to work hard in treatment and apply new behaviors in their daily lives
  3. Coordinate and consolidate the different parts of treatment to make sure it is all tailored for the particular individual’s situation.

Individual therapy will proceed according to the following stages:

  1. Targeting life-threatening behavior
  2. Targeting self-harm behavior
  3. Targeting therapy-interfering behavior (on the part of the therapist or the client)
  4. Targeting quality of life issues (mood, relationship, work, self-defeating behaviors)
  5. Targeting obstacles to full emotional experiencing
  6. Reaching the goal of living a life that is meaningful and worthwhile

Individual sessions will be structured in the following manner:

  1. Diary card review
  2. Agenda setting for session starting with target behaviors
  3. Behavior analysis of target behavior
  4. Addressing other current issues including questions from skills group (if time allows)

Weekly Skills Training Group

The class meets for 90 minutes each week over a 24 week period of time and typically includes eight members. The sessions utilize lecture, discussion, and practice exercises in order to teach DBT skills. Individual sessions may also include skills training.  Most people learn the skills most effectively if they complete the full set of skill modules 2 to 3 times. An optional DBT graduate group is offered after skills training is completed for those clients who desire additional group support.

Telephone Coaching with the Therapist

Phone coaching is designed to promote skills use where it matters most – in the real world.  When clients feel “stuck” and unsure what to do, they are encouraged to contact their individual therapist for help in using DBT skills.  Phone coaching typically occurs in approximately a ten-minute time frame and focuses on how to utilize DBT skills. Clients are encouraged to call their primary therapist BEFORE engaging in ineffective behaviors. Calls made to the client’s primary therapist AFTER engaging in suicidal or self-harming behaviors will not be returned for 24 hours and will be addressed as the priority target behavior in the following session. Clients who are in crisis and are unable to reach their primary therapist may call the Montana Crisis Hotline at 888-820-0083. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, clients should immediately call 9-1-1.

Weekly Therapist Consultation Team

The DBT treatment team of therapists meets weekly to assist each other in providing effective and compassionate treatment. We spend time problem-solving difficulties that interfere with client progress in treatment and help keep each other practicing within a dialectical framework.