DBT Individual Therapy

individual-therapy-innerIndividual therapy is a crucial step in the growth and healing process for individuals and families. The individual session is focused on enhancing client motivation and helping clients to apply the skills they learn to specific challenges and events in their lives.

In Individual DBT therapy a Diary Card is reviewed at the start of every session. The therapist notes the logging of new skillful behavior and the presence of any episode of a target behavior (self-harm, suicidal thoughts, OCD behaviors, etc.). The DBT Diary Card allows the therapist to create a hierarchy of priorities to address and organize a session around.   Like a detective, the DBT Therapist completes a chain analysis of the target behavior (mapping out moment by moment the thoughts and feelings that led to the behavior) and helps your child identify the missing skills. This is very similar to a coach watching a video recording of your child’s performance and reviewing the footage “frame by frame” and coaching to missing skills. The DBT therapist then teaches the missing skills (i.e. self-soothe skills, or emotion regulation skills) and behaviorally rehearses the needed skill to develop mastery. Any child in Individual DBT therapy will have 24-hour access to their therapist for Phone Coaching to help generalize skills to their environment (home and school).

At Compass, our DBT-trained clinicians help you and your child find a balance between acceptance and change. They will also help you both develop new skills, like coping methods and mindfulness practices, so that you have the power to replace unhealthy thoughts, improve troubling behaviors and experience calmer emotions. Individuals undergoing DBT are usually instructed to practice these new methods of thinking and behaving as homework between sessions. Improving coping strategies is an essential aspect of successful DBT treatment.

Individual therapy, when combined with skills group and real-time coaching from one of our therapists, can help decrease the frequency and severity of dangerous or troubling behaviors. Adherent to DBT, our therapists use positive reinforcement to motivate change, emphasize the individual’s strengths and helps translate the skills learned in therapy to the person’s everyday life.