We specialize in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Our clients come to see us for a variety of reasons – including:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Interpersonal Relationship Issues
  • Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Shaina Gordon, LCSW is extensively trained in Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is a therapy designed to help people change patterns of behavior that are not helpful, such as self-harm, suicidal thinking, and substance abuse. DBT assumes that people are doing their best but lack the skills needed to succeed, or are influenced by positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement that interferes with their ability to function appropriately.

DBT is:

  • Support oriented: it helps a person identify their strengths. Then it builds upon these strengths so that the person can feel better about him/herself and their life.  When you participate in a comprehensive DBT program, you will have more support than you may have had when you’ve attended counseling in the past.
  • Cognitive based: DBT helps to identify thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life harder. It helps people to learn different ways of thinking that will make life more bearable. Through DBT counseling sessions and skills training, you’ll learn to better understand your own thoughts.
  • CollaborativeThis form of therapy requires constant attention to relationships between clients and staff. All relationships can be challenging at times.  The relationship between a therapist and client is no different. However, a DBT therapist sees any challenges in the relationship as an opportunity to practice all of the skills being taught.  Therefore, clients work out any problems they may have directly with their therapists in DBT.

What does DBT therapy look like?

Adherent DBT has two main components: individual psychotherapy sessions and DBT skills group training classes. Participating in DBT involves completing a journal (known as a diary card) for homework assignments, and the regular practicing of self- soothing skills when upset. New DBT skills are learned and practiced every week during group skills training classes. Then the client’s individual DBT therapist helps the person to learn, apply and master new skills.  Phone coaching is also available between appointments. Phone coaching helps clients manage their extreme emotions and use the skills they have learned to cope with their feeling and react in a more positive way.

The four types of DBT skills

When you participate in DBT Skills training, you will learn many new types of skills.  Some of these skills may be things you already do naturally, but we’ll help you learn to do those things more intentionally and effectively.  Other skills will be an entirely new way of approaching stressful situations.  The four main types of skills we will cover include mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and emotion regulation.

Mindfulness Skills

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention on purpose to the present moment. This helps you learn to notice and accept your thoughts and feelings without judgment.  In order to be effective, DBT skills must be used in a mindful, focused way.  Therefore, DBT therapist teach, model and ask clients to use mindfulness skills throughout the course of treatment.

Distress Tolerance Skills

Distress Tolerance skills help you learn how to get through rough patches without turning to destructive coping strategies.  This is where you’ll learn what you can do instead of that harmful behavior you’ve used in the past-whether that behavior was alcohol, drugs, self harm, suicidal thoughts, binge eating or something else altogether.  We know things can feel overwhelming at times. Distress Tolerance is where you’ll learn new behaviors to help you cope in a more healthy/effective way.

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

Interpersonal Effectiveness refers to the ability to be able to ask for what you want – or say no to things you don’t want — while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others.  One of our greatest needs as humans is to feel connected to others. When we cover interpersonal effectiveness skills, you’ll learn to think of your relationships in a new way.  We will talk about approaching difficult interpersonal conflicts or situations in a purposeful way so you can be more effective.

Emotion Regulation Skills

Emotion Regulation is the ability to change unwanted or excessively intense emotions.  In this module, we’ll start with helping you become more aware of the emotions you feel at any given time.  Then, you’ll learn decrease the intensity on emotions to help prevent things from getting to a point where you feel out of control.


For more information on DBT: https://psychcentral.com/lib/an-overview-of-dialectical-behavior-therapy/

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Georgia (DBTGA) – dbtga.com