There are many approaches to therapy and finding the right fit for you and your challenges is an important part of the therapeutic process. One therapy option we offer is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. This evidence-based therapy approach is used to help a number of mental health conditions. It focuses on dealing with extreme emotions and aids in learning to cope with and regulate these feelings.

At Gibson and Associates, we believe every person has the potential to overcome whatever emotional challenges they may face. DBT is one type of therapy we’re able to offer to support our clients in gaining control of their emotions and behaviours.

If you’re feeling like life is getting too heavy lately – we can help. We offer DBT and other therapeutic approaches in person in Toronto or London ON, or virtually throughout Ontario.

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?

DBT is a type of talk therapy. It shares its roots with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and works to support a person in understanding and managing their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. DBT is especially helpful for people who are dealing with very intense and extreme emotions.

What makes DBT unique is it combines the usual strategies of CBT for changing negative emotions and behaviours, with the seemingly opposite strategy of accepting these emotions and behaviours. This is where it gets the name “dialectical”. It refers to working with two opposing forces or strategies.

The first strategy is acceptance. When working on acceptance techniques, you and your counsellor will try to understand where these emotions and behaviours are coming from. Once you begin to accept that your feelings and emotions are valid, you can start to learn how to make adjustments to reduce these extreme feelings.

The second strategy is change. Once you can identify where your intense emotions are coming from, you can start learning how to make positive changes and begin to take control of them. For example, once a specific negative behaviour has been accepted and identified, we can learn how to replace that negative behaviour with a positive one.

How Does Private DBT Work?

Private DBT is done one-on-one with a counsellor. During your sessions, you’ll work on developing skills and strategies to accept and change your negative emotions and behaviours. As you learn these, you can begin applying them to your life with the support of your counsellor to guide you.

DBT is broken into four modules, or skills, that a person works through to gain acceptance and experience change. 


Mindfulness involves observing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. No judgment is placed on them, the goal is simply to examine them and build awareness. Being present and experiencing your full array of emotions is the first step to understanding them and yourself.

Distress Tolerance

Once you become aware of your negative emotions, you can begin to learn how to deal with them when they occur. Behavioural change is not always available right away, so learning how to cope with intense emotions allows you to get through challenging situations and accept them for what they are.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is the first change technique. With this skill, you are looking to try and manage and regulate extreme emotions when you experience them. Some strategies that may be included are learning to identify emotions, reducing your susceptibility to these emotions, increasing positive emotions, and taking action to reduce the impact of your negative emotions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

This skill focuses on helping you have healthier, more productive relationships with others. By learning how to set healthy boundaries and say no, you can take steps to protect your mental health. This also includes learning to identify your own needs and how to ask for help when you need it.

By working through these four modules, you’ll begin to accept and understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and learn how to change them into more positive experiences.

Who Can Benefit From DBT?

DBT was developed to support people suffering from borderline personality disorder but has been found to be an effective treatment option for other mental health conditions as well. It is especially helpful for conditions dealing with extreme and intense negative emotions. These can include:

  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal behaviours

Every person’s path to recovery is different. DBT might be the best option for you, or it may work best as one part of a therapy plan. Therapy is a very personal experience and the right approach looks different for everyone. We’re happy to talk with you about how DBT could fit into your therapy plan or investigate other options to support you in your mental health journey.

In Person Vs. Online DBT Therapy In Ontario

If you feel DBT would be a good fit for you, we’re happy to offer sessions both in person at our offices in Toronto or London, ON, or virtually anywhere across Ontario.

Online counselling allows anyone to access support, no matter where they live. It also allows for the comfort and convenience of receiving therapy in your own home. Virtual therapy is fully confidential and compliant with Ontario’s Privacy Health Information Protect Act (PHIPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Whether you prefer via in-person or virtual therapy, our counsellors can provide DBT treatment to support you in gaining control of your life.

Get Started With DBT in Toronto, London or Online Now

We believe that every person can overcome whatever challenges are keeping them from living their best lives. With the support of one of our experienced counsellors, we can find the best path for healing, whether that’s through a strictly DBT approach, or by including DBT as a part of a multi-modality treatment plan.

If you’re ready to seek support, contact us to find the best options and treatment plan for you. You can also book a consultation or appointment online.

Similar Posts