How to Find Dialectical Behavior Therapy for BPD Near You

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DBT therapists are extensively trained to deliver dialectical behavior therapy for borderline personality disorder (BPD), a unique type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that has been scientifically shown to reduce distressing symptoms of BPD, including self-harm and suicide attempts.

DBT focuses on teaching behavioral skills like regulating emotions, living in the moment, tolerating distress, and managing relationships with other people. DBT is done in both individual and group therapy sessions, in addition to phone coaching sessions.

Finding a Dialectical Behavior Therapist Near You

DBT therapists can be hard to come by. However, there are a few resources that may help you with your search.

The best place to begin your search is with the DBT Clinical Resource Directory maintained by Behavioral Tech—an organization founded by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. to train mental health professionals in DBT. This directory allows you to search for clinicians and programs that have gone through DBT training with Behavioral Tech, LLC, or the Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics (BRTC) at the University of Washington. The treatment programs can be searched for by continent, country, and then state or province.

You may also want to try the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies' Find-A-Therapist directory. This database allows you to search for practitioners by name, location, population served, and specialty (there is a "DBT" option under specialty). This directory also includes listings in Canada.

If these databases are not helpful, try calling departments of psychology or psychiatry at local universities, colleges, or medical centers. Because DBT is an evidence-based approach to treatment, academic training departments may include practitioners who have been trained in DBT. Another option is checking your local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In addition, you could try looking up the government agency that addresses mental health needs in your area. This may be the Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health, or a similar agency. These agencies could know of DBT therapists in your area and may be able to facilitate a referral depending on your needs.

Be Sure to Talk to Your Doctor

It's a good idea to talk with your primary care physician or psychiatrist about your desire to pursue DBT therapy. Your doctor can provide a referral and help confirm whether this is the best therapeutic approach for you. 

Remember, remain an advocate for your mental health and be sure to choose a therapist that has proper DBT training and credentials. 

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  1. May JM, Richardi TM, Barth KS. Dialectical behavior therapy as treatment for borderline personality disorder. Ment Health Clin. 2016;6(2):62-67. doi:10.9740/mhc.2016.03.62

  2. Reddy MS, Vijay MS. Empirical Reality of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in Borderline Personality. Indian J Psychol Med. 2017;39(2):105-108. doi:10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_132_17

  3. Carmel A, Rose ML, Fruzzetti AE. Barriers and solutions to implementing dialectical behavior therapy in a public behavioral health system. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2014;41(5):608-14. doi:10.1007/s10488-013-0504-6

  4. Behavioral Tech. Founded by Marsha Linehan.

  5. Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

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