Psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy,” has a mixed record of effectiveness in the treatment of serious mental illness. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one form of psychotherapy for which there is a substantial evidence base, especially when offered in conjunction with other treatments, such as psychopharma-cology. Another emerging best practice with a growing evidence base is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an offshoot of CBT. The Westport-based Dialectical and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center, the newest addition to RtoR’s Directory of Family-Endorsed Providers, is expert in both.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy looks at the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behavior, and explores how thoughts can lead to problem feelings and actions. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use, self-injury, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It also shows promise for the treatment of schizophrenia and psychosis.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of CBT that was developed by the psychologist Marsha Linehan to treat Borderline Personality Disorder. People with Borderline Personality Disorder experience intense emotions which can lead to self-injury, outbursts of anger, and instability and abrupt ending of important relationships. These behaviors make treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder a challenge for the therapist. DBT is a compassionate approach that builds on the principles of CBT to teach skills for dealing with distress in a framework that helps patients understand that they are doing the best they can, even as they move towards finding better ways of coping.
The Dialectical and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center is a private practice that specializes in DBT and CBT for adults and adolescents. Dr. Kevin Holtzman, the lead clinician, is a licensed clinical psychologist who trained in DBT at the organization headed by its developer, Marsha Linehan. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, and leads a team of five other clinical psychologists and social workers at the Dialectical and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center.
Here’s what one Connecticut mother had to say about DBT in her endorsement of the Center…
My daughter improved rapidly with DBT. It is exactly the right treatment style for her. I found the parent group supportive and tremendously helpful. The skills I learned there have helped me manage my own stress and occasional anxiety, and have been useful in parenting all of my children. Now I tell people I think everyone should learn DBT in middle school. Parents always say that babies don’t come with an instruction manual, but I wish I’d had a book on DBT when my kids were little.”
The Dialectical and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center in Westport, CT is an excellent private practice option for families and individuals looking for effective psychotherapy services for an adult or adolescent with depression, anxiety, phobia, Borderline Personality Disorder, OCD, self-injury and self-harm, substance use or an eating disorder. You can find out more about the Dialectical and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center, by visiting the Profile page on RtoR.org. Please check our Directory of Family-Endorsed Providers for more recommendations on family-nominated mental health providers in the region.
Throughout the month of May, RtoR.org will release a daily Post
of the Day in observance of Mental Health Awareness Month