ecss » Dialectical Behaviour Therapy


ECSS Psychological Services is pleased to offer a number of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) programs/interventions.


What is DBT?


Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based, proven therapeutic modality to treat behaviour and emotional regulation issues. It is designed for those who lack, or struggle with, important interpersonal, self-regulation, and distress tolerance skills, independent of diagnosis. In DBT, you will focus on building skills related to: Mindfulness; Emotion Regulation; Distress Tolerance; and Interpersonal Effectiveness.


Who can benefit?


While DBT is proven to offer significant benefits for individuals with a wide variety of mental health challenges, DBT may be a particularly effective path if you struggle to manage behaviours including:


• Overwhelming emotions
• Impulsive behaviours
• Challenging relationships
• Trauma


As a comprehensive treatment, DBT serves to enhance your behavioural capabilities, improve motivation to change, and assist with developing new capabilities in generalizing to your day-to day life. DBT structures the treatment environment in ways essential to support both client and therapist capabilities.






Our DBT Intensive program has three main components: individual therapy; group intervention/skills training; and one-to-one skills training. We run a continuous intake group, with intake intervals every six to eight weeks. The whole program can be completed in 21 weeks. There are three distinct modules that are addressed in group. Prospective clients are interviewed to determine the best starting place for the individual to maximize outcomes.


The group intervention runs once a week, typically in an afternoon, for three hours. It is a continuous intake group. The individual therapy component occurs once a week. The skills training component occurs one-on-one and has several facets. It is individualized for each client. Skills can focus on help with homework, understanding more challenging skills, or processing difficult daily life experiences. There are four areas of focus for the group:


1. Mindfulness – In this area participants are introduced to the concept of Mindfulness (i.e., the practice of being fully aware and present in this moment) and are taught related skills (e.g., observe, describe, participate, non-judgmental).
2. Distress Tolerance – How to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it.
3. Emotion Regulation – How to change the emotions you want to change.
4. Interpersonal Effectiveness – How to ask for what you want and saying no, while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others.


Next Intake: Tuesday April 4, 2023




ECSS is offering three separate sessions. Come learn the fundamental DBT skills. Each session covers a different area (i.e., interpersonal skills, emotion regulation skills, or distress tolerance skills). You will learn a variety of skills in each session. The sessions are designed to be “stand-alone”, meaning you can attend whichever one(s) are most relevant to you and your situation. These primer sessions are great for those individuals who would benefit from the skills but cannot commit to a weekly group, or just want to get an idea of the skills. They are a fantastic introduction to the DBT world and can serve as an introduction to further DBT treatment, or as an independent treatment modality.


Interpersonal Effectiveness Primer
Relationship Problems? Come learn how to be more effective in your relationships. Learn to increase the likelihood of getting what you want, while maintaining or even improving your relationships and your self-respect. Learn how to ask for what you want, how to say no, and to judge the appropriateness of when and how to ask for something. In this fun and dynamic session, you’ll learn and practice all of these skills and more!
Saturday, October 21, 2023
10:00am – 2:00pm


Emotion Regulation Primer
Strong emotions can make it difficult to think clearly and make good choices. In this session, we will teach you skills that help make sure your emotions align with the situation. You will also learn what to do with the emotions that arise, including those that fit with the situation or and those that don’t. In addition, we will teach some skills that you can use when you know about an upcoming difficult situation.
Saturday, November 4, 2023
10:00am – 2:00pm


Distress Tolerance Primer
Come learn how not to take a bad situation and make it way worse than it already is! Sometimes life is hard, so why make it harder than it needs to be. In this session you will learn a variety of skills that are useful for getting through those tough times. The skills may not change those situations to make them better, but at least it won’t make them worse.
Saturday, December 2, 2023
10:00am – 2:00pm
Register for all three primer sessions and receive a reduced rate of $750 for all three.


If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact ECSS Psychological Services at (780) 482-3277 or email