Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

About The Program

CMHA Toronto’s Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) program is a one-year intensive program for individuals with difficulty regulating emotions and/or borderline personality disorder (BPD).  

People with BPD or emotion dysregulation have difficulty controlling strong emotions, such as anxiety, shame and anger, which can lead to self-injurious behaviours, impulsive acts and angry outbursts. These behaviours are a way of trying to solve life’s problems and reduce intense and painful emotions. They may provide relief in the moment and may cause more suffering in the long-term. CMHA Toronto’s DBT program teaches healthy problem-solving skills that help reduce impulsive behaviours and meet long-term goals.  

The program consists of individual counselling and a skills group. For DBT to be a successful experience, it is essential to participate in both program components.

Individual Counselling

Weekly, one-to-one therapy sessions with a therapist help clients identify the changes they want to make in their life. During therapy sessions, the therapist will coach clients to apply the skills taught in the group and to problem-solve current difficulties they’re facing. The goal of DBT is to help clients replace skills they have used in the past with new, more effective skills.

Skills Group

In weekly groups, clients are introduced to a range of new coping skills. There are four main skills taught in the groups: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills address the patterns of intense emotions and impulsive behaviours often experienced by people with BPD. During group sessions, homework is assigned to help clients practice skills.

Who's It For

Adults 18+ who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder or emotion dysregulation.

How IT Works

  1. Clients, or another referrer, complete this form.
  2. Once accepted, clients participate in weekly individual counselling and skills group
  3. After a year of the program, clients can graduate and participate in the DBT Alumni program

CMHA Toronto’s DBT program is currently full and is not accepting referrals at this time. We will update our website when referrals for the program open.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who are CMHA Toronto’s Dialectical Behaviour Therapy services for?

CMHA Toronto’s DBT services are for individuals 18 years of age or older who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, are not involved in other talking therapies, and who:

  1. are willing and able to participate in one-to-one counselling and skills groups, AND
  2. have a recent history of repeated suicide attempts (2 or more in the past year), AND/OR
  3. actively engage in self-injurious behaviour (in the past month), AND/OR
  4. experience mental health crises resulting in frequent hospital emergency department services (5 or more visits in the past year).

How are services offered?

DBT services are currently offered both virtually and in-person.

What happens during individual counselling?

Weekly, one-to-one therapy sessions with a therapist help you identify the changes you want to make in your life. During therapy sessions, your therapist will coach you to apply the skills taught in the group and to problem-solve current difficulties you are facing. The goal of DBT is to help you replace skills you have used in the past with new, more effective skills.

What happens during skills group?

In weekly groups, you are introduced to a range of new coping skills. There are four main skills taught in the groups: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills address the patterns of intense emotions and impulsive behaviours often experienced by people with BPD. During group sessions, homework is assigned to help you practice skills.

How do I access services?

Complete this referral form. We are currently only accepting referrals to our next DBT 12 week group that starts in the Summer 2024.

Our DBT 6 month group and 1 year program are closed for referrals.

Contact Us

West Office
700 Lawrence Ave W,
Suite #480 Toronto,
ON M6A 3B4

East Office
1200 Markham Rd,
Suite #500 Scarborough,
ON M1H 3C3

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