Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specialized form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The primary goal is to teach how to better cope with stress, manage intense emotion, assertiveness, and relationship issues while cultivating skills to improve your quality of life. It combines the change techniques of CBT with the acceptance strategies of Zen practice. The results are improved emotional regulation and interpersonal relationships, increased self-esteem, and an overall sense of calm.

Our experienced clinicians have specialized training in providing DBT to adults and adolescents. Clients learn cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness skills to better identify and manage their emotions, including those related to anxiety and depression. The practice of applying these skills can lead to a greater tolerance for life’s stressors, and an improvement in interacting effectively with others. Those who have tried other treatments with only minimal improvement often find DBT to be very helpful. Our DBT clinicians are available by phone to reinforce skills and provide you with the highest level of care. With both individual DBT therapy and DBT skill groups, our treatment plans are tailored to address each client’s individual needs. The focus is not only on overcoming obstacles, but also creating the best life you can imagine.



Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the cornerstone of DBT and emphasizes being present in the moment. Mindfulness helps clients learn to understand, accept, and observe their emotions without judgment, and to focus on the here-and-now in a calm, collected way. Mindfulness helps individuals develop a more balanced sense of self, which can help with intense emotions and reactivity.

Emotional regulation: Emotional regulation teaches clients how to navigate difficult or powerful emotions more effectively. By learning how to identify and validate feelings, the process of change ceases to feel impossible, and the transformation towards emotional health feels more like an attainable reality.

Interpersonal efficacy: Interpersonal efficacy helps clients understand their relationships with others and handle conflict appropriately. It teaches them how to get what they want from others while sticking to their values, maintaining relationships, and fostering the independence they need to move forward.

Distress tolerance: Distress tolerance focuses on tolerating and minimizing the distress felt when faced with negative emotions. It teaches clients how to accept the current situation and cope with stressful situations.

Radical acceptance: Radical acceptance is the acknowledgment of reality ‘as it is,’ rather than trying to fight or deny painful events and emotions. This doesn’t mean approving or endorsing what may have happened, but by accepting things ‘as they are,’ clients can begin to develop effective solutions for moving forward and making change possible.



An effective component of treatment includes DBT skills training groups. Zackson Psychology Group offers such groups weekly for adolescents and adults. Skills taught are based on the core principles of DBT—mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal efficacy, distress tolerance, and radical acceptance. Together, clients strengthen their ability to manage emotions effectively and cope with stressful situations without making them worse, simultaneously improving the quality of their relationships and creating a life they love.

At Zackson Psychology Group, we’ve seen firsthand the difference DBT can make in the lives of those struggling with intense emotions. Our DBT skills training groups help clients build the skills they need to identify, understand, and healthily manage their emotions. By teaching clients how to apply the principles of DBT to their everyday lives, our experienced clinicians can help you or someone you love move toward healthier ways of coping with stress and an improved quality of life. Call us today at 203-900-1666 to learn more about DBT and how it can help you make positive, lasting changes in your life.