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Psychological Services and

DBT Centre of Red Deer

What is DBT?


Pioneered and developed by Dr. Martha Linehan Dialectical Behaviour Therapy has been designated “Best Practice” for treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. This therapy balances the validation of a person's emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses just as they are and the teaching of active problem-solving strategies.

DBT has been designed to provide therapy to anyone regardless of formal diagnosis who experiences difficulties managing mood swings, depression, anxiety, stress, relationships issues, fear of abandonment and rejection,  impulsive and high-risk behaviours, uncertainty about identity, low self-esteem, thoughts of suicide, or self- harming behaviours and urges.


What is a DBT Program?


Our DBT Program runs on a 24 week schedule. The program includes individual therapy sessions with the Primary Therapist, weekly DBT Skills Training Group sessions, and telephone coaching/consultations as needed. Individual therapy sessions with teens will require occasional participation of a caregiver in order to facilitate greater understanding, support, and communication within a family.


How does the DBT program work?


The DBT program begins with an intake interview in order to determine if this program is appropriate for the client, and to set the client's individualized treatment goals and initial direction of therapy. During an intake interview we gather demographic information, a history of difficulties and past treatments, information about involvement with other healthcare professionals and administer pre-treatment questionnaires. Following an intake interview the person will review and sign all relevant documentation, schedule individual therapy sessions, and be given a schedule to begin DBT Skills Training Group sessions.


The program requires close coordination between all members of the treatment team. The treatment team includes a designated Primary Therapist who provides individual therapy sessions and phone coaching, coordinates all aspects of treatment with DBT Skills Training Group coaches, and collaborates with other providers that might be involved with the participant in community such as a psychiatrist, family physician, social worker, community health worker, etc. Although collaboration with other healthcare service providers is important and might increase the effectiveness of the program, it is not required.


Individuals who are enrolled in our DBT Skills Training Group do not have to be enrolled in our DBT Program or receive individual therapy from one of our therapists. If a client chooses to receive individual therapy elsewhere, we strongly encourage them to attend regular sessions for the duration of the 24 week schedule and to seek support from a therapist/counselor who is trained in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. The phone coaching will still be available and will be provided by a lead group coach. The collaboration between our clinicians and your therapist is paramount.


Those who miss four consecutive group meetings will be required to start the program over. For more information on groups please visit "Our Services" page. 


All DBT Skills Training Group meetings are videotaped and are reviewed by Petro Palykhata, MA, R. Psychologist to help improve our services. A consent form for videotaping will be provided for signature during the intake interview.

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