DBT Group

Monday Evenings
7 to 8:30 PM
For more information, contact:
Janet Levitt, LCPC
630-393-9800 ext. 206

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) integrates cognitive-behavioral strategies with Eastern (Zen) practices, such as mindfulness and acceptance. Originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, DBT has been shown to be especially helpful for teaching individuals techniques for soothing and calming the self, coping effectively with stress, and increasing their effectiveness in relationships.


In DBT groups, clients learn skills and enhance their capabilities in four areas:

Mindfulness is the concept of cultivating awareness of thoughts, emotions, and present-moment experiences. The goals of mindfulness include learning to control one’s mind and attention, to accept reality, and to be more effective in the moment. Strategies include relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises, and practicing acceptance of life as it is.

Provides an opportunity to explore how to be more successful in relationships. Skills are aimed at identifying goals and needs in relation to others and working toward those goals in ways that maintain self-respect and enhance feelings of relatedness. Strategies include balancing wants and needs, practicing appropriate assertiveness, and learning conflict-resolution techniques.

Focuses on understanding and managing painful emotional states, such as anxiety, depression, and anger. The goal of emotion regulation is to reduce mood-dependent behavior by learning how to tolerate an emotion long enough to engage in problem solving. Skills include increasing awareness of emotions, identifying obstacles to changing emotions, reducing vulnerability to negative emotions, and learning to separate emotion from action.

Enhances the ability to deal with life stresses and manage crises in effective ways. The goal of distress tolerance is to learn how to cope with stress without internalizing it and without resorting to self-harm or self-destructive behavior. Techniques for tolerating stressful situations when they cannot be immediately changed include mindfulness, distracting, self-soothing, and improving the moment.