9. The DBT tool kit

The essential DBT strategies and what happens in the individual session

  1. Beth S. Brodsky PhD Associate Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology1 and
  2. Barbara Stanley PhD Professor of Clinical Psychology2

Published Online: 6 MAY 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118556603.ch9

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Primer: How DBT Can Inform Clinical Practice

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Primer: How DBT Can Inform Clinical Practice

How to Cite

Brodsky, B. S. and Stanley, B. (2013) The DBT tool kit, in The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Primer: How DBT Can Inform Clinical Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118556603.ch9

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Research Scientist New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Research Scientist New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 MAY 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 JUL 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119968931

Online ISBN: 9781118556603

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Keywords:

  • individual psychotherapy;
  • agenda setting;
  • diary card;
  • suicidal behavior;
  • chain analysis

Summary

How do clinicians help patients manage their chronic suicidal ideation, threats, and gestures in an outpatient setting? Are there effective therapeutic techniques for directly treating nonsuicidal self-injury and other destructive behaviors? In this chapter, we describe the nuts and bolts of conducting individual dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) sessions. Step by step, we will illustrate how DBT applies strategies of validation and change to systematically work toward the elimination of self-injurious behaviors through understanding the role that they serve and the development of effective skills for managing painful feelings and destructive impulses. In this chapter, we describe how the individual therapy session is structured and the behavioral techniques that are applied in the sessions. In an individual DBT psychotherapy session, clinician and patient collaborate to establish session structure by using a diary card to set the agenda. They choose a behavioral target using the diary card, and target suicidal or unskillful behaviors by conducting a chain analysis. In order to keep the patient engaged, the therapist maintains an active stance and balances validation with change throughout the psychotherapy session.