All About DBT | Dialectical Behavior Therapy


Dialectical Behavior Therapy

(#DBT) Skills Groups for Teens & Adults





When stress rises and emotions get the best of you, the road becomes more difficult to navigate.


You may suffer, let your impulses take over, or lose yourself in stories about the past or the future. Maybe your teen is the one struggling, experiencing mood swings, and failing to communicate their needs without an outburst. Or perhaps you are all resorting to numbing and harmful behaviors to deal with it all because, frankly, you don’t have the energy anymore.


There is no special armor for adversity.


But there is a way to build your skills and manage the challenges life may bring.


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment that builds mindfulness, coping, and interpersonal strategies to help you thrive.


Lifespan Counseling Omaha facilitates DBT skills groups for teens and adults living in Omaha and its surroundings.


If you or your teen are grappling with daily stressors, emotional or relationship problems, or if you want to enhance your life skills, we can help.


Call 402-575-5577 or contact us to join our next DBT skills group.



What Is DBT Therapy?


Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focused on developing skills to improve your well-being.


The goal of DBT is to help you embrace the present moment (#mindfulness), manage your emotions (emotion regulation), navigate distress (distress tolerance), and strengthen your relationships (interpersonal effectiveness).


DBT is an effective treatment for all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, races, and cultural backgrounds. It can be accessed in individual and group therapy.


What Is a DBT Skills Group?


DBT skills groups teach you strategies to manage your emotions, behaviors, and social interactions within a safe group setting. It’s an excellent way to supplement the work done in individual therapy.


Groups can range from four to 10+ individuals and are facilitated by a mental health professional certified in DBT. Sessions typically happen weekly for 10-24 weeks, depending on the group, and follow a class format.


DBT groups allow you to gain valuable #skills and put them into practice with peers of your age group. You will also have assignments to apply what you have learned in your daily life.

For example, your teen can learn communication skills, role-play them with group members, and get feedback during the sessions. Then, they will have homework to implement these tools with family and friends.


Do You or Your Teen Need a DBT Skills Group?


Marsha Linehan developed DBT in the 1970s to treat patients with suicidal thoughts and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Yet, this modality has evolved to support various mental health conditions and symptoms.


Common challenges addressed with DBT and DBT skills groups include:

  • Anxiety

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (#ADHD)

  • Bipolar disorder

  • #Depression

  • Eating disorders

  • Emotional crises or difficulty dealing with emotions

  • Impulsive or risky actions

  • Increased #stress

  • Intense mood shifts

  • Relationship problems

  • Self-harming thoughts and behaviors

  • #Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (#PTSD)


If you or your loved one are struggling with any of the above, a DBT skills group can help you.


However, you don’t need a crisis or diagnosis to benefit from DBT skills. If you want to be more mindful, find better ways to handle your feelings and stressors, or foster healthier connections, a DBT skills group is a suitable alternative.


Wondering if a DBT skills group is right for you or your teen? Reach out to us! We are happy to answer your questions and sign you up for our next group if it’s the right fit.


How Can a DBT Skills Group Help?


DBT groups are not the same as support or process groups. The purpose is not to process your emotions or go around a circle telling your story. While motivation and interactions among participants are encouraged, DBT groups focus on developing fundamental skills for everyday life.


Of course, you can learn from each other’s perspectives and experiences with these strategies, helping one another sort out any difficulties along the way—all with the guidance of your therapist.


Ultimately, DBT will help you reach a balance between two opposites: acceptance and change. You will build awareness, feel validated, accept yourself and your journey, and make positive adjustments in your life.


What Skills Will You Learn in a DBT Skills Group?


DBT skills groups focus on teaching and practicing four core skills to change unhelpful patterns and improve your well-being.

These include:


1) Mindfulness

#Mindfulness is the ability to intentionally focus your attention on the present moment without trying to change or judge it. You will learn how to nurture your curiosity, observe your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and notice the environment around you. More than meditation, mindfulness is about being present during any activity (e.g., walking, talking, eating).


2) Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance allows you to deal with crises, challenging situations, and stressors with acceptance—instead of resorting to impulsive or damaging responses. You will release the need to control what you can’t and welcome reality as it is, despite how hard it might be. You will also adopt helpful coping mechanisms that work for you (e.g., deep breathing, music, or self-soothing practices).


3) Emotion Regulation

Emotion #regulation is the capacity to manage your emotions in a healthy and productive manner. You will become aware of your feelings, how they may shape your actions, and how to regain control of them. You will work on reducing your reactivity and increasing calm and positive emotional experiences.


4) Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness equips you with tools to form and preserve meaningful relationships. This includes learning to communicate assertively yet respectfully, set boundaries, solve conflicts, and enhance social skills while caring for yourself.



DBT Skills Groups at Lifespan Counseling Omaha

Lifespan Counseling Omaha offers in-person DBT groups for teens and adults living in Omaha, Elkhorn, Gretna, and nearby locations.

Our staff of mental health professionals also provides therapy for adults and teens, child and family counseling, and medication management.

We have experience with various specialties, including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, personality disorders, work/career stress, and more.


Current DBT Skills Groups

  • Teen/Adolescent DBT group for ages 13-17 (11 weeks)

  • Adult DBT group for ages 18+ (11 weeks)

Both groups start and end at specific dates and times, with the same cohort, and are ideal in addition to individual counseling.


If you want to expand your relational abilities, gain effective coping techniques, or learn how to live in the present moment, we are here for you. We want to empower you with a toolbox for lasting wellness.


Join Our Next DBT Skills Group!

Call 402-575-5577 or contact us to sign up for our next DBT group.


Are you a referring provider? Download and submit this form.


Let’s build skills for life.





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