Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

This section provides you with background information about Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and an outline of the philosophy, aims and assumptions of this treatment model.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a treatment developed for people with self-harm urges/ behaviours, suicidal thoughts, urges for suicide and/or suicide attempts. Individuals who have a long history of these difficulties may have been given a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.

DBT was originally developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. in 1993, as an alternative treatment for individuals for whom other therapies may not have been effective. More than 20 years of worldwide research have supported this approach. Over time, DBT has been adapted to treat a range of disorders with similar difficulties such as eating disorders and substance dependence.

In this video, Dr. Marsha Linehan talks to Daniel Flynn about Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.


If you are interested in finding out more about the structure of a DBT programme for young people and adolescents, this clip will provide you with further information