Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, DBT, was developed in the 1980s by Marsha Linehan as a treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder. In the past 30 years, researchers have found it to also be a very effective treatment for multiple other conditions, including depression, PTSD, impulsivity, eating disorders, and some forms of anxiety.

How is the DBT program structured?

Our program adheres to the Linehan model of DBT, is certified by MN DHS, and serves clients age 18 and above. Our clients meet with their individual therapist for one hour a week and attend a two-hour weekly skills group for at least 26 weeks.

Unlike traditional group psychotherapy which focuses on processing experiences and feelings, DBT groups focus on learning four sets of important skills:

  • Mindfulness: Becoming more aware of self and others and attentive to the present moment.
  • Distress tolerance: Feeling intense emotions like anger without reacting impulsively or using self-injury or substance use to dampen distress.
  • Emotional regulation: Recognizing, labeling, and adjusting emotions.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Navigating conflict and interacting assertively.

Learn about our new Adolescent DBT Program.

What are the targets and goals of treatment in DBT?

The most important goal in DBT is helping clients create a life worth living.

What makes a life worth living varies from client to client. For some, a life worth living is finding a partner and having kids. For others, it’s finishing school and pursuing a career. Others might focus on creative expression or being able to find enjoyment in daily activities.

Request a DBT intake and someone will call you or your client to schedule.

DBT SUD (Substance Use Disorder)

ACP now offers a DBT program designed to address the often co-occurring aspects of chemical dependency and mental health in our Minneapolis location. This program combines the traditional DBT certified model with skills to specifically support those who struggle with alcohol and/or drug use, utilizing a harm reduction in the case of relapse and with the ultimate goal of abstinence. This evidence-based approach uniquely uses aspects of mindfulness by working on becoming aware of urges to use, learning skills for acute urges and strong emotions, developing a life worth living, and improving the ability to communicate.

Participants who are a good fit for the program should meet these criteria:

  • Must be able to make the time commitment for weekly group (2 hours) and therapy (1 hour) consistently for the span of the program (26 weeks).
  • Be currently abstaining or willing to work on abstaining from drug and/or alcohol use.
  • Must be able to learn new materials or retain information with repetition or reminders.
  • Must be willing to complete homework and practice skill use outside of individual and group sessions.

Group schedules:


Our Minneapolis DBT program meets at the following days and times:

  • Monday (co-ed)
  • Monday (co-ed)
  • Tuesday (co-ed)
  • Tuesday (co-ed)
  • Wednesday (co-ed)
  • Wednesdays (co-ed)
  • Thursday (women only)
  • Thursday (co-ed)
  • 9:30am - 11:30am
  • 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • 3:30pm - 5:30pm
  • 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • 9:30am - 11:30am
  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
  • 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • 2:30pm - 4:30pm
*All group times are subject to availability. Call (612) 925-6033 for current group schedules and openings.

Our Minneapolis Substance Use Disorder program meets at the following days and times:

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • 3:30pm - 5:30pm
  • 5:30pm - 7:30pm

West St. Paul

West St. Paul's DBT program meets at the following days and times:

  • Monday (co-ed)
  • Tuesday (co-ed)
  • Wednesday (Women only)
  • Thursday (co-ed)
  • 9:30am - 11:30am
  • 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 1:00pm - 3:00pm
  • 1:00pm - 3:00pm
*All group times are subject to availability. Call (651) 450-0860 for current group schedules and openings.

Apple Valley

ACP Apple Valley will begin offering DBT Services beginning in September. We will start scheduling intake appointments in August.

  • Monday
  • 1pm-3pm.
*Group times are subject to availability. Call (952) 378-1800 for current group schedules and openings.

Meet the clinicians of our DBT program:

Brin Bailey


Julie Blatz


Maggie Bremer


Ariel Brinson


Fjaere Harder-Nussbaum


Jerrion Richardson


Kristen Schmidt-Shay


Erica Stellick-Woods

PsyD, LP

Tammy Tucker


Elizabeth Walker


Devon Whitehead

Ph.D., LP


ACP Minneapolis's DBT Team


ACP West Saint Paul's DBT Team

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