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The Mood & Mind Centre

Psychology Clinic

Call t​oday!

07 5573 2200

DBT Program

What is DBT?

Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is a psychological treatment developed by Prof. Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher originally from the University of Washington, to treat persons with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioural techniques for emotion regulation and reality testing with concepts of mindful awareness, distress tolerance, and acceptance strategies largely derived from meditative practice.


DBT has been demonstrated through clinical research to be effective in treating BPD. Research indicates that DBT is also effective in treating patients with varied symptoms and behaviours associated with impulse control including self-injury and binge eating.


DBT includes the following key elements:

behavioural approach, finding middle ground, cognitive therapy and DBT’s central component, mindfulness.


DBT treats issues of Emotional Dysregulation which occurs for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other Mental Health issues.


Why do I need Individual and Group Sessions?


The DBT Program involves two components:


1. Individual therapy occurs weekly, in which the therapist and client discuss issues that come up during the week, recorded on diary cards and follow a treatment target hierarchy. Self-injurious and suicidal behaviours take first priority, followed by therapy interfering behaviours. Quality of life and working towards improving one’s life generally becomes the focus of therapy. During individual therapy, the therapist and client work towards improving DBT skill use. Often, skills group is discussed and obstacles to acting skilfully are addressed.


2. The DBT skills group meets once weekly for two hours. DBT skills are learnt across four modules: core mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance.

Neither component is provided as a stand alone treatment. Doing DBT requires initial engagement in individual therapy to prepare for inclusion in skills group. The individual component provides space to work on suicidal urges and dysregulated emotions. The group sessions teach the skills unique to DBT, and also provide practice with regulating emotions and behaviour in a social context.


Entry to the Program

A GP or Psychiatrist referral is required to any member of our DBT team. Once you have your referral contact The Mood & Mind Centre to book an individual consultation with a DBT team therapist.


Initially you will commence in individual therapy with one of our DBT team members to start working through any barriers to treatment. Your DBT team member will then advise a suitable interval to join our skills group component of the program.


The group “Riding Emotion Waves” runs year round and intake is held at approximately 6 – 8 week intervals, at the beginning of each new module.