Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) offers tools to help you manage emotions, deal with painful situations, and improve your relationships. The empirically-based therapy is designed to treat:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Urges for self-harm or suicide

DBT groups resemble a classroom atmosphere in which group leaders teach the following skills with easy-to-understand examples, tools, and strategies:

  • Mindfulness: staying present in the moment
  • Tolerating distress: getting through tough times without making things worse
  • Regulating emotions: learning to understand and manage your emotions
  • Relationship skills: asserting your needs, communicating effectively, and maintaining relationships

What DBT Groups Offer

Our team accommodates a wide range of patients, including those on psychiatry inpatient units. We also offer weekly outpatient skills groups for adults and teens.

  • Teen groups meet for about an hour every week for a minimum of two months. You are expected to commit to at least two months but are encouraged to participate in the full six-month program. We also provide family sessions.
  • Adult groups meet for two hours once a week for about six months. Beyond that, you will agree to complete homework and practice new skills in your everyday lives.
  • Inpatient units provide tailored support as well as skills groups.

Start Learning New Skills

Outpatient groups have openings for new members about every month.

To schedule an individual intake appointment for the adult outpatient program, please call 1-319-356-7338 or send an email to AdultDBT@healthcare.uiowa.edu.

To schedule an individual intake appointment for the teen outpatient program, please call 1-319-678-8026 or send an email to AdolescentDBT@healthcare.uiowa.edu.

Care Team