Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)


DBT is a psychological therapy first developed in the late 1980s by Dr Marsha Linehan and colleagues at the Behavioural and Research Clinics at the University of Washington, Seattle USA.  DBT has become an internationally renowned leading treatment for problems of emotion, relationships and behaviour.  Originally developed as a therapy to build on what works and doesn’t work in other therapies, DBT has since become known for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.  Whilst DBT is well established as a very effective treatment for BPD. DBT has well-established outcomes for Eating Disorders, Substance Use problems,  PTSD, trauma, Bi-Polar Disorder, OCD, Depression and Anxiety.  More recently evidence has shown DBT is suited to other neurodivergent individuals and therapy materials have been adapted.  DBT is an effective therapy for emotional difficulties -sometimes referred to as Emotion Dysregulation and generally for those wishing to improve their life.

DBT is an intensive treatment with a number of components.  Individual therapy targets unwanted behaviours, whilst building on skills to manage emotional difficulties.  Life-threatening and treatment-interfering behaviours are effectively changed with DBT.  

DBT also teaches a large number of specific life skills. These are most effectively taught in a class setting referred to as DBT Skills Groups.  DBT also may include coaching and between-session support, making it a very flexible and responsive treatment.

Therapists offering DBT participate in a DBT Consultation Team to ensure the therapy remains of the highest quality and effective in reaching treatment goals.  

Participants in DBT are supported not only to reduce troubling symptoms but to build a “life worth living”, as part of a holistic recovery journey. 

Our DBT program also offers family skills training or linking into family education sessions, to ensure the family environment is also supported if desired.  A range of written and other resources are provided to support individuals to learn all of the DBT skills.

How to access DBT:

DBT requires extensive training to deliver the therapy as it was designed.  There are a limited number of Australian therapists that have the required level of training.  Axon Health is proud to offer access to DBT, as well as other therapies.

On top of training as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (a minimum of 6 years), our principal therapist, Terri-lee Hill, has completed the 2 year “Comprehensive DBT training for Independent Practitioners” program with Behavioral Tech, USA.  

Terri-lee travelled to Seattle Washington and was trained by Dr Linehan and other leading experts in DBT.  This included practice under expert supervision.  Terri-lee remains part of an international DBT Consultation Team and regularly speaks at Conferences and Workshops on DBT and treating complex psycho-social problems. 

Terri-lee works with trained DBT therapists and also supports other health professionals who would like to learn more about DBT or other counselling therapies.