Lisa A. Napolitano, Ph.D.
New York, NY 10022
Dialectical Behavior Therapy in New York
What is DBT?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was developed by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan to treat problems in emotion regulation. It balances the use of change techniques from cognitive-behavior therapy with acceptance strategies from Zen practice. It is designed to address problems in regulating emotions, impulse control, assertiveness, and distress tolerance. Clients learn cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness skills to better identify and manage their emotions, including anxiety and depression. They then practice applying those skills to better tolerate life events and improve their ability to interact effectively with others.
DBT is a multi-component treatment consisting of the following elements: 1) once weekly individual therapy; 2) once weekly skills training group; and, 3) phone coaching by the individual therapist on the use of skills.
Although DBT was originally designed to treat chronically suicidal and self-injurious behavior, it has since been adapted to treat a variety of other problems including binge eating disorder and depression.
Comprehensive DBT Program in NYC
CBT/DBT Associates offers a comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy program consisting of individual DBT, DBT skills training group, and telephone coaching. Clients can receive all of their treatment services at CBT/DBT Associates or select specific components of the program to meet their individual needs.
Individual DBT is an essential component of effective Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Individual therapists work collaboratively with clients to change problematic behaviors and cultivate self-acceptance. Phone coaching on the use of DBT skills is provided by the individual therapist.
Skills Training Groups
DBT Skills Training groups are conducted on an ongoing basis. The groups are led by DBT therapists who have completed intensive training and meet once a week for 90 minutes. Participants have the option to attend the Monday groups which meet from 5:30-7:00 p.m. and 7:00-8:30 p.m., the Tuesday group, which meets from 7:00-8:30 p.m., or the Thursday group, which meets from 5:30-7:00 p.m. It takes approximately 22 to 24 weeks to complete the 4 skills training modules: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. However, mastery of the skills may require repetition of the cycle. For this reason, clients will have the opportunity to continue skills training at the conclusion of the 24-week cycle to repeat the four skills training modules.
This group is for individuals who have already completed basic skills training, but would like to continue working on integrating skills into their daily lives. The format of this group is less topical than basic skills training, and meets bimonthly on Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m..
Friends and Family DBT Skills Group
This group is for friends, family members, and caregivers of people with chronic psychological and physical problems such as borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease. Participants will learn skills to help them better manage their own emotions, tolerate distress, and interact more effectively with challenging persons in their lives. In this group, participants will learn the same skills that loved ones currently enrolled in DBT are learning: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness. This group meets Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. and is led by Arielle Freedberg, Psy.D.
DBT Multifamily Skills Group for Adolescents
CBT/DBT Associates offers a Multifamily Skills Training Group for Adolescents and their parents. The groups meet on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7 pm.
Our Comprehensive DBT Program is appropriate for individuals with long-standing difficulties with affect and impulse control, eating disorders, anger management problems, and self-destructive behavior.
Our New York City program is geared towards relatively high functioning individuals. As such, clients must be working full time, attending school, or volunteering to participate.
More Intensive Treatment
For individuals requiring more intensive and structured treatment than our program provides, we recommend the following residential treatment programs outside of NYC:
Silver Hill Hospital, 208 Valley Road, New Canaan, CT 06840, 866-542-4455
Gunderson Residence, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, 877-451-6466
Recommended reading for information on Borderline Personality Disorder
Chapman, A.L., Gratz, K.L., & Hoffman, P.D. (2007). The borderline personality disorder survival guide: Everything you need to know about living with BPD. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Gunderson, J.G., & Hoffman, P.D. (2005) Understanding and Treating Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide for Professionals and Families. American Psychiatric Publishing Inc.
Linehan, M.L. (1993). Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford.
Recommended readings for difficult times
Brach, T. (2003). Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.
Braza, J. (1997). Moment by Moment: The Art and Practice of Mindfulness. North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing.
Chodron, P. (2002). When Things Fall Apart. Boston, MA: Shambhala.
Chodron, P. (2008). Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion. Boston, MA: Shambala.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York, NY: Delta Trade Paperbacks.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2012). Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—and Your Life. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc.
Kushner, H. (1981). When Bad Things Happen to Good People. New York, NY: Avon Books.
Nhat Hanh, T. (1987). The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Salzberg, S. (1995). Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Boston, MA: Shambala.
Salzberg, S., & Thurman, R. (2013). Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit and Be a Whole Lot Happier. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc.
For information, please contact Dr. Napolitano at 212-546-9200.
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