Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Experience Personal Growth

Innova Mercy can equip teens with excellent yet practical tools to help them manage their emotions more effectively, stay present at the moment, be engaged in their daily lives, and more.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT for short, is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy devised by Marsha Linehan. It was initially developed to treat suicidal individuals and those with Border Personality Disorder.

But DBT later became an effective treatment for different conditions, including depression, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, and trauma. The term ‘dialectical’ refers to the combining of opposites, a great description of what DBT aims to do - accepting where you are now as you push for change.

How is DBT Different from CBT?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a form of psychotherapy (or talk therapy) based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT for short). Though they share similarities, the key difference is how these two treatment forms manage negative thoughts and behaviors.

CBT focuses on how a person’s thoughts, behavior, and feelings can influence one another. CBT helps patients identify and change difficult ways of thinking and acting. With DBT, however, greater focus is put on social and emotional aspects instead.

DBT for anxiety can help teens control strong (or extreme) emotions to improve relationships with behavior change and validation. Greater importance is placed on managing emotions, learning to accept pain, and being mindful, instead of redirecting how teens think, feel, and react.

The 4 DBT Skills

One of the major benefits of DBT for anxiety is that the treatment is skills-based. All teens can gain from learning and using these skills. DBT skills fall into four core modules, of which two are acceptance-oriented and change-oriented making up the remaining two.


This is the practice of being completely aware and present in the current moment.

Distress Tolerance

Teaches how to tolerate emotional pain during difficult or stressful situations and not change it.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Teaches a teen how to ask for what they want and learn to say “no” while preserving relationships with others as well as self-respect.

Emotion Regulation

How to lessen weakness to painful emotions and change the emotions you want to change.

How Do Teens Benefit from DBT?

Teens benefit from DBT in many ways. It is a great treatment for teens experiencing depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, PTSD, and trauma. And since teens are still learning how to manage their emotions, learning DBT skills will help them better manage feelings of extreme anger, anxiety, frustration, and suicidal thoughts.

At Innova Mercy, teens can learn DBT skills to improve their daily life. Our Innova therapists can coach teenagers within the moment so they can use these skills well.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is one of the many trauma treatment therapies being used at Innova Mercy. Each of our therapies is meant to treat all aspects of a teen’s recovery, including the body, mind, and soul. To learn more about our treatment, check here.

Speak with an Admission Specialist Today

Contact Innova Mercy today. We would be more than happy to teach your teens DBT skills for anxiety, PTSD, trauma, and depression. All calls are free and confidential.