Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not effective, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking and substance abuse.  This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings and behaviors that lead to the undesired behavior. DBT assumes that people are doing the best that they can, but either are lacking the skills or are influenced by positive or negative reinforcement that interfere with one’s functioning.

The following skills are taught:

  • Mindfulness is geared towards finding the balance between the reasonable, emotional and wise mind states.  Thus, one’s tendency to think in black and white thinking can shift to seeing more options and more cognitive flexibility.  In this process, the skill to access the most functional part of the brain is facilitated to help increase contact with one’s environment, engage life with a new perspective and to apply problem solving skills more effectively. 
  • Emotion Regulation explores how one’s reactions to situations increases their self-invalidation and emotional vulnerability.  Specific skills are taught to challenge interpretation of events and to manage feelings in a way to contain reactions and to make the most out of challenges.
  • Distress Tolerance builds on the concepts covered in emotion regulation by exploring specific activities one can employ and practicing a new level of acceptance to reduce self defeating habits.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness has a focus on how to evaluate when to asset oneself and then teaches skills to help people get their needs met with others.

Individual Therapy and Phone Consultation are provided to help with the generalization and application of this skill in day-to-day living.

Neil Friedman, Santa Barbara Therapist

Neil Friedman, LCSW

I have an eclectic, holistic approach in working with people. I believe in helping people recognize and utilize their strengths to overcome any challenge they might face. In this process, we can explore any unconscious blocks that might be interfering with connecting with others and their environment to make the most of each moment. I believe that the “here and now” is where we experience life to the fullest. Along these lines, I try to help people find the balance between their emotional and reasonable minds to effectively problem solve issues to be addressed.

Please call or email me for an individual, couples or family therapy consultation today.

Neil Friedman, LCSW
123 W Padre, Ste A
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 319-0304 
[email protected]
Santa Barbara CAMFT Member

Santa Barbara Therapy


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