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What We Treat

All of our clients have difficult​ies with intense emotions. Some feel their emotions are out of control and lead to impulsive behaviors. Others may feel numb, or that their emotions are “locked down” or suppressed. ​The primary goal ​of DBT is to ​teach individuals ​how to experience emotions in a healthy, effective way that feels productive and manageable​, both through the use of specific skills as well as other aspects of DBT treatment.

DBT is effective for individuals who have difficulty regulating their emotions. Problems with emotion regulation might take a variety of forms, such as:

  • Painful, strong emotions, that feel overwhelming or like there is no escape
  • Your emotions feel like they come out of the blue, and/or shift quickly from one to the next
  • It feels like your emotions control your life and your decisions
  • Presence of suicidal ideation and/or self-harm behaviors
  • Other impulsivity related to emotions
  • Problems with anger, shame, or low mood
  • Problems feeling numb or detached from your emotions

Many of our clients have current or previous suicide ideation, suicide attempts, and/or intentional self-injury that is not suicidal. DBT was designed to treat suicide and intentional self-injury, among other problems. It has a great deal of research supporting its usefulness for these problems. That being said, there is no proven way to predict or prevent suicide. We are very skilled at helping clients build a life where they no longer want to die, but we cannot guarantee that we can predict or prevent suicide.

First and foremost in DBT, we work on life-threatening behaviors and any situations or habits that lead to these behaviors. This will remain the primary focus until the risk of self harm or suicide is significantly reduced.

Our clients typically struggle with multiple chronic problems. We focus on solving the problems that make building a life difficult. This could include suicide or self-harm behaviors, impulsivity, any DSM-5 diagnosis (e.g., PTSD, eating disorder, substance use, depression, anxiety, and so on), and/or serious problems in living, such as a housing situation, conflict in relationships, employment difficulties, and many others.

Not all clients will present with all of these difficulties. DBT is a highly tailored treatment and we will only focus on the targets that are relevant to you.

How do I get started?

Call us at 206-374-0109 and our friendly and knowledgeable Client Services Coordinators will help you begin this process and answer any questions you may have.

Ready to screen?

Click here for our online Adult DBT Screening Form.

Click here for our online Adolescent DBT Screening Form.

Click “Learn More” to find out more detail about the process of getting started!

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Does the DBT Center provide consultation?


Our expert clinicians provide consultation services for:

  • individuals who are interested in seeking care here or would like help finding appropriate services
  • family members of individuals who have BPD or emotion dysregulation
  • mental health providers who would like clinical consultation on a one-time or recurring basis
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How do I make sure my therapist is doing DBT?

When looking for a DBT therapist, it will be important to ensure they are providing DBT.

Programs and providers who are certified by the Linehan Board of Certification have gone through a rigorous process to demonstrate they are providing DBT according to the DBT treatment manuals and the procedures used in research demonstrating DBT’s efficacy.

If a program or provider is not certified by the Linehan Board of Certification, be sure to ask the following questions:

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Who may benefit from DBT?

You may benefit from DBT if you have problems related to intense emotions, including:
• Impulsive behavior
• Self-injury
• Suicidal behaviors
• Confused or fearful thinking, dissociation
• Coping with trauma
• Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
• Living with a sense of emptiness or feeling like you are confused about who you are

Additionally, DBT may be helpful for people who have tried other treatment modalities and were not successful.

We will help you learn new ways to respond to your emotions and urges by changing your habits. This takes a lot of practice! DBT will only work if you are willing to put in some time to practice new habits. DBT does not work if you are forced into treatment or are not willing to put in the effort. We will talk more about what is required when we meet you. We usually take several sessions to orient you and make sure this treatment is a good fit for your problems.

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We are always looking for great clinicians!

Please click on the link below to see our current job openings.

A collegial work environment is an extremely high priority for us! If you are interested in how our team runs, please see Drs. Sayrs and Linehan's guidelines for DBT team in DBT Teams: Development and Practice.

Current Openings