Group Therapy

Weekly DBT group incorporates mindfulness practice, review of skills practice, and teaching of new skills.

DBT of TOWSON
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Group Therapy


Weekly DBT group incorporates mindfulness practice, review of skills practice, and teaching of new skills.

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Group Therapy

DBT of TOWSON’s 25-week group program consists of three learning modules, which comprise the four aspects of DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Believing that mindfulness, or the learned ability to pay attention to the present moment is the basis of the other DBT skills, each of the three modules starts with two weeks of mindfulness followed by seven to eight weeks of distress tolerance, emotion regulation or interpersonal effectiveness. 

Each weekly group incorporates mindfulness practice, review of skills practice via homework review, and teaching of new skills. 

In group, clients practice mindfulness, the foundation of DBT. This is crucial to supporting clients’ practice during the upcoming week and helping them to remain dialectical about the difficult practice of being present. Clients also review skills learned the previous week, which supports skill generalization, or the ability to apply skills to the challenges they faced that week. Finally, clients learn new skills to practice in the coming week. This is called skill acquisition. 

Group also offers clients the opportunity to relate to each other in the difficult work of going from old, automatic reactions to new, skillful responses. During homework review and teaching of new skills, clients are invited to share real-life examples and other group members participate to help support each other’s growth.

DBT group is not like traditional therapy in that the focus is on acquiring skills and reinforcing skill usage rather than processing feelings and/or problem solving. In this sense, DBT group is more like a class than group therapy. Many clients find this to be a relief, since learning skills in a group setting does not require the level of openness and sharing that traditional group therapy does.

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Our Services

DBT of TOWSON’s 25-week group program consists of three learning modules, which comprise the four aspects of DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. Believing that mindfulness, or the learned ability to pay attention to the present moment is the basis of the other DBT skills, each of the three modules starts with two weeks of mindfulness followed by seven to eight weeks of distress tolerance, emotion regulation or interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT Therapy is most effective when weekly skills-training group is combined with individual DBT therapy. DBT therapy is similar to Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and emphasizes collaboration between client and therapist to identify and address maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. As such, clients are asked to make a commitment to attend skills group, engage in weekly individual therapy with a DBT-trained clinician, and address agreed upon behavioral goals.

For clients enrolled in group whose outside therapist may not be trained in DBT, DBT of TOWSON provides skills coaching sessions on an as-needed basis to help clients better understand how to apply the DBT skills they are learning in group to their individual lives.

DBT is a style of cognitive behavior therapy that aims to examine the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. DBT was initially developed by Marsha Linehan, who adapted cognitive therapy to address the needs of clients who have a harder time implementing change. Where traditional cognitive therapy attempts to work with thoughts and feelings in order to change behaviors, DBT begins by targeting behaviors in order to change thoughts and feelings. This is important for many people who, despite knowing better, continue to engage in behaviors that negatively impact their lives.

DBT is has been found to be highly effective in treating a wide range of disorders, including borderline personality disorder, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and trauma-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

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DBT of TOWSON was established in 2016 by Katie Holden and Jackie Dressel in an effort to give our emotionally dysregulated clients a place to learn skills to reclaim their lives, their relationships, and their dignity. All of our therapists are fully licensed and have successfully completed Behavioral Tech’s Foundational Training. Our goal is to be a leading provider of high-quality DBT group and individual therapy to clients in the greater Baltimore area.

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