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Treatment Approaches

​​​Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most evidenced-based psychotherapy to date.  It was originally developed by Aaron Beck in the 1970s to treat depression and anxiety symptoms, but over the last three decades it has been empirically supported in a variety of disorders ranging from severe and persistent mental illness to eating disorders.  CBT is a goal-oriented approach that is time-limited and focused on problem-solving current issues. The goal of CBT is to identify and change maladaptive thoughts and behaviors that are giving rise to negative feelings and emotional states.  It is believed that when these distorted thoughts and extreme behaviors are made less extreme and more reality-based, it will increase positive emotions and be the catalyst for positive behavioral change.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan in the 1980s and was initially developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). DBT is another type of cognitive behavioral therapy that includes the components of traditional CBT, but has been remastered to include several additional components that have been shown to be empirically validated, and especially helpful for individuals who did not derive full benefit from traditional CBT. Since the inception of DBT, it has been used to treat a variety of treatment resistant symptoms and disorders, such as chronic suicidality, self-harm, acting-out behaviors, persistent emotional dysregulation, eating disorders and other maladaptive behaviors.  In contrast to the solely change-oriented model of traditional CBT, DBT focuses on a balance between acceptance and change in regard to thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.  These dialectics or simply the integration between opposites, originates from a Buddhist tradition and Zen philosophy, which is infused throughout the treatment. The crux of the treatment are coping skill modules, including: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Dialectics or Walking the Middle Path, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.  These modules are intended to address an individual’s skills deficits, which are believed to be impeding his or her ability to be effective and create a life worth living.