Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program

Cadence recently invited colleagues in the Seattle area to our annual Open House. We were honored to have Marsha Linehan, PhD, the creator of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, speak about the latest in DBT research and practice. Cadence therapists work closely with Dr. Linehan in research and development at BRTC (Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics at University of Washington).

At Cadence with Dr. Marsha Linehan, Creator of DBT

Katie Korslund, Marsha Linehan – BRTC ; Milani Smith, Dan Finnegan – Cadence

The Cadence Clinical and DBT Directors both provide close oversight and direction to the Cadence DBT program. In addition to the weekly consult meetings for the DBT therapists, the full Cadence team of CBT and DBT therapists meets regularly to address client issues and to receive training in state-of-the-art treatment approaches.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an extensively researched evidence-based program that was developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, to treat individuals suffering from:

  • Emotion Dysregulation — Intense and overwhelming swings in emotions
  • Impulsiveness
  • Self-harm — Cutting and other self-harming behaviors
  • Suicidal thinking and behaviors
  • Disrupted Relationships — Interpersonal chaos
  • Confusion about self-identity

DBT Treatment Elements

Four key treatment elements are integrated to provide a comprehensive DBT program.

Individual Therapy

Weekly individual therapy sessions.

In DBT, therapists take a non-judgmental stance, providing consistent validation of their client’s experiences. There is a strong emphasis on replacing dysfunctional behaviors with more effective coping strategies and then supporting the practice of these new skills.

DBT Multi-Family Skills Class – Adolescents and Parents

Group classes teach adolescents to become aware of and identify dysfunctional feelings and thoughts, followed by learning and rehearsing effective coping skills. The Skills Group Classes run on a 26 week cycle with five skill areas (mindfulness, middle path, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness) taught in weekly two-hour classes. At least one parent/caregiver is required to attend with their adolescent.

Phone Coaching

Phone coaching provides an opportunity for “real-life” in-the-moment support in using newly acquired DBT skills. The individual DBT therapists are available by phone between sessions for their adolescent clients.

Therapist Consultation Team

The DBT team meets weekly to ensure that the therapists are delivering the most effective treatment consistent with DBT principles. These meetings are an integral part of a complete DBT program.

Collaboration with BRTC at University of Washington

Members of the Cadence DBT team have been active participants in research studies, training and treatment with Dr. Marsha Linehan (founder of DBT) at the Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC) at University of Washington. Cadence shares a Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program with BRTC. Cadence therapists provide clinical supervision for UW graduate students practicing DBT at the BRTC.
“Cadence provides one of the largest comprehensive DBT programs in the country focused on adolescents and their parents.”