Find Lasting Sobriety With a DBT Therapist at Vista Taos Renewal Center

Find the right DBT therapist for your needs at Vista Tao Renewal Center.

What is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with mindfulness practices. DBT was initially developed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Finding a DBT therapist can help you start your healing journey.1

DBT emphasizes the balance between acceptance and change. It helps patients in recognizing and validating emotions while also working towards behavioral changes.

DBT Therapist

Mental Health Conditions That Benefit Most From DBT Therapy

DBT was initially developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder, but it has been found to be effective for various other mental health conditions. 

The following are examples:

  • Depression
  • Self-harm and suicidal behaviors
  • Substance use disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Treatment With Vista Taos

While DBT has been effective in treating a variety of mental health disorders, it’s important to find the right treatment for your needs. 

The most effective treatment will meet your preferences and address your symptoms. Vista Taos can help find the right treatment for you.

Develop Skills Through DBT

DBT focuses on helping individuals develop the following skills:

  • Managing distress
  • Regulating emotions
  • Improving interpersonal relationships
  • Enhancing well-being

Key Components of DBT

Some key components of DBT include:

  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Group skills training
  • Phone coaching
  • Therapist consultation meetings

What Is a DBT Therapist?

A DBT therapist is a mental health professional who has received specialized training. They provide guidance and support to those seeking mental health or substance use treatment

A DBT therapist helps individuals navigate challenges and learn the skills necessary to lead a more fulfilling and balanced life.

Collaboration for Support and Feedback

DBT counselors take part in regular consultation meetings with other therapists. These meetings serve as a platform for therapists to receive support and feedback from their peers. 

It ensures that therapists are maintaining the effectiveness of the DBT treatment model.

A therapist often works in collaboration with other healthcare professionals and caretakers involved in a patient’s care, such as the following:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Primary care physicians
  • Family members

This ensures coordinated treatment approaches and effective communication to support the individual’s well-being.

What Role Does a DBT Therapist Play?

A DBT therapist plays a crucial role in the treatment process. They provide guidance, support, and expertise to individuals undergoing DBT.

Comprehensive Assessment

A DBT therapist will conduct a comprehensive assessment. This helps in understanding the following specific things about an individual:

  • Challenges
  • Emotional patterns
  • Areas for growth

This helps in tailoring a treatment plan to address each individual’s unique needs.

Therapy Sessions

DBT counselors conduct one-on-one therapy sessions with clients. In these sessions, therapists provide a safe space for individuals to explore their thoughts and emotions.

 A DBT therapist helps clients gain insight into the following:

  • Challenges
  • Coping strategies
  • Treatment goals

Skill Training

DBT includes group skills training. This is where the DBT therapist teaches specific skills to help individuals in the following:

  • Regulating emotions

  • Improving interpersonal relationships

  • Tolerating distress

  • Cultivating mindfulness

The therapist provides education and opportunities for individuals to practice exercises.

Phone Coaching

DBT counselors also often offer phone coaching as part of treatment. This means that individuals can reach out to therapists outside of therapy sessions.

Phone coaching occurs when individuals are facing challenging situations or in need of immediate support. The therapist provides guidance and helps clients apply learned skills.

How a DBT Therapist Can Help

A DBT therapist acts as a compassionate and knowledgeable guide. They are there to help individuals in the following ways:

  • Navigating challenges
  • Learning new skills
  • Making positive changes

The therapist provides ongoing support throughout the treatment process. They empower individuals to achieve treatment goals and improve mental health and well-being.

What Training and Qualifications Does a DBT Therapist Have?

Becoming a certified DBT therapist requires a combination of specific qualifications and specialized training. The following paragraphs review the general requirements for practicing as a DBT therapist.2


A master’s degree in a mental health-related field is necessary to become a certified DBT therapist. 

Common degree fields include the following:

  • Psychology
  • Counseling
  • Social work
  • Psychiatry

Clinical Experience

Prior clinical experience is usually required before pursuing training in DBT. The specific amount of required experience may vary. It can depend on the certification organization.

DBT Training

Completion of specialized training in dialectical behavior therapy is a crucial step in becoming a certified DBT therapist. 

Training programs may consist of the following:

  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Online courses
  • Intensive training sessions


After completing the initial training, DBT counselors often need to take part in supervision. This involves regular sessions with an experienced therapist.

This person provides guidance and support as therapists gain practical experience in DBT. Supervision helps ensure commitment to the treatment model and enhances clinical skills.

Adherence to Treatment Model

Certified DBT counselors are expected to show skill in delivering DBT. This is according to the treatment model developed by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, the creator of DBT.

They should adhere to the core principles and strategies of DBT, which means incorporating the following into their practice:

  • Mindfulness
  • Acceptance
  • Change-oriented interventions

Continuing Education

Continuing education is essential for maintaining certification. It helps the therapist stay updated with the latest research and advancements in the field of DBT.

Therapists are encouraged to take part in the following forms of continuing education:

  • Workshops
  • Conferences
  • Advanced training programs

Ask About Qualifications

If you are looking for a DBT therapist, you can ask about and check qualifications and training. It’s important to find someone who suits your needs.

How a DBT Therapist Can Help You

Using various therapeutic techniques and interventions, a DBT therapist can help you develop skills to aid recovery. 

These can include the following:

  • Managing emotions
  • Coping with distress
  • Improving relationships

Emotion Regulation Skills

DBT counselors teach specific strategies to manage and regulate emotions. These may include the following techniques:

  • Identifying and labeling emotions

  • Understanding the function of emotions

  • Learning healthy ways to deal with intense emotions

Distress Tolerance Skills

DBT counselors help you to build resilience and tolerance for distressing situations. They teach practical techniques. 

These techniques help to cope with distress and prevent impulsive or self-destructive behaviors. 


They may involve skills such as the following:

  • Self-soothing practices
  • Distraction techniques
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Crisis survival strategies

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

DBT counselors can assist you in improving your relationships and communication skills. 

They teach specific techniques to aid individuals with the following:

  • Enhancing assertiveness
  • Setting boundaries
  • Negotiating conflicts
  • Developing healthy interpersonal connections

Therapists may explore and address patterns of problematic relationships. They can then help you build healthier and more fulfilling connections.

Mindfulness Practices

Mindfulness is a key component of DBT. Therapists guide individuals in developing mindfulness skills. 

Mindfulness includes the following:3

  • Bringing awareness to the present moment
  • Observing thoughts and emotions in a non-judgmental way
  • Developing a non-reactive stance

Mindfulness practices can help you improve self-awareness and enhance your ability to respond to challenging situations in an effective way.

Behavioral Analysis and Problem-Solving

DBT therapists use behavioral analysis. This helps you understand the underlying factors influencing your emotions and behaviors, and assists in the following:

  • Identifying problematic behaviors and thoughts
  • Exploring the origins of these behaviors and thoughts
  • Working together to develop effective strategies for behavior change and problem-solving

Homework and Skill Practice

DBT therapists often assign homework to reinforce acquired skills. This provides opportunities for you to practice learned techniques outside of therapy.

Therapists review and discuss these assignments for the following reasons:

  • Address challenges
  • Provide feedback
  • Help you refine the use of the skill

Empowerment to Make Positive Changes

By using these holistic approaches, a DBT therapist can empower you in the following:

  • Developing practical skills
  • Gaining insight into your emotions and behaviors
  • Creating positive changes in your life

The Role of the Therapist

The DBT therapist is there to act as a guide. They provide support and encouragement throughout the process. They will work together with you to develop a healthier life.

DBT Techniques and Strategies

DBT therapists use various techniques and strategies during therapy sessions. This is to help individuals achieve treatment goals. Key techniques used in DBT include:4


DBT therapists emphasize validation. This involves acknowledging and understanding your thoughts and experiences without judgment.

Behavioral Chain Analysis

This technique involves examining and analyzing the chain of events that lead to problematic behaviors or distress. 

The therapist and individual work together to gain insight into the patterns and develop alternative responses.5

Group Skills Training Sessions

DBT therapists conduct group skills training sessions. Our therapists teach specific skills related to the following:

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotion regulation
  • Distress tolerance
  • Interpersonal effectiveness

Problem Solving

A DBT therapist assists individuals in identifying and solving problems encountered in daily life. 

Therapists guide clients through a problem-solving process, helping in the following ways:6

  • Breaking down challenges
  • Exploring possible solutions
  • Weighing pros and cons
  • Making informed decisions

Cognitive Restructuring

DBT therapists help individuals examine thoughts and beliefs and replace them with more balanced and realistic perspectives. 

This technique focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns.7

Role-Play Exercises

Therapists may use role-play exercises. These help individuals with the following:

  • Practicing new skills

  • Improving communication

  • Exploring different perspectives

  • Rehearsing desired behaviors and responses in a supportive environment


Mindfulness is one of the foundations of DBT. Mindfulness exercises include meditation and breathing exercises.

Diary Cards

Diary cards are self-monitoring tools. Individuals use these to track the following:

  • Emotions
  • Behaviors
  • Skill used throughout the week

Therapists can review diary cards during sessions. They are used for feedback, identifying patterns, and setting goals with the individual.

How Long Might DBT Take?

The duration and timeline of DBT therapy sessions can vary. It depends on several factors, including individual needs, treatment goals, and the specific program or therapist.

Length of Therapy Sessions

Individual therapy sessions in DBT often last 60 minutes. Group skills training sessions often range from 90 minutes to 2 hours.

How Often Are Therapy Sessions Held?

DBT therapy involves a combination of individual therapy and group skills training. Individual therapy sessions are often scheduled on a weekly basis. Group skills training sessions are held once or twice a week.

Duration of Goals and Treatments

The duration of DBT therapy can vary depending on your goals and treatment plan. DBT is considered a time-limited therapy. It often ranges from six months to one year.

The timeline for seeing progress in DBT therapy can vary among individuals. Consistent and active engagement in therapy can contribute to steady progress over time.

What Circumstances Affect the DBT Treatment Timeline?

The treatment duration and progress timeline may vary depending on circumstances such as the following:

  • The severity of your symptoms
  • Your personal readiness for change
  • The presence of comorbid conditions

Your DBT therapist will work with you to set realistic goals and establish an appropriate timeline.

How to Find The Right DBT Therapist

Finding and choosing a qualified DBT therapist who is the right fit for you is an important step in recovery. You’ll want someone who meets your specific needs and goals.

Gather Information and Seek Recommendations

To find the right DBT therapist, you should research and gather information. Reach out to trusted sources for information using the following means:

  • Reviewing online directories
  • Checking mental health professional listings
  • Contacting local mental health organizations for referrals

Verify Credentials

Look for therapists who specialize or have specific training in DBT. Ensure that the therapists you consider are licensed or certified mental health professionals.

Check the therapist’s experience and expertise in delivering DBT and consider the following:

  • Years of practice
  • The number of clients they have treated with DBT
  • A therapist’s familiarity with the specific population or conditions you are seeking help for

Schedule an Initial Consultation

Schedule an initial consultation or meeting with potential DBT therapists. This provides an opportunity to do the following:

  • Ask questions
  • Discuss your specific needs and goals
  • Get a sense of the therapist’s approach and style

Trust Your Instincts

Assess the rapport and connection you feel with the therapist. If you feel comfortable and confident in the therapist’s abilities, it may show a good fit.

Take Practical Factors into Consideration

Take practical factors into account. This might include the following:

  • Location
  • Availability
  • Affordability

Don’t Get Discouraged

Remember, finding the right DBT therapist is a personal process. It may take some time and effort.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to many therapists and ask questions. This helps to ensure you find a qualified professional who aligns with your needs and goals.

Reach Out to the Vista Taos Renewal Center

Vista Taos is a trusted mental health and addiction recovery facility. Our program is focused on treating the whole person. We combine traditional therapies with holistic treatments to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Our experienced and client-centered staff is ready to help you get your life back. We understand the importance of finding a program that is the right fit for you.

We are dedicated to helping you on your journey to healing and well-being. For more information about DBT and our program, contact us today.

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Ready to Renew Your Life and Well-Being?

Reach out to Vista Taos Renewal Center today and let us guide you toward sustainable recovery. We will help you heal from the addictions and substance use challenges that hinder you from leading your most fulfilled life through personalized, whole-person treatment.