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Dialectical Behavior Therapy Near Me in Tennessee

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Near Me in Tennessee

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What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of intensive therapy treatment for persons with intense emotions that interfere with their ability to function normally. DBT enables them to acknowledge and regulate their current behavior.1 Dialectic, to put it another way, is analytical reasoning that seeks knowledge and truth in conflicts involving two or more persons. In addition, DBT teaches people practical skills that result in more manageable and enjoyable lives.

Dr. Marsha Linehan, who had personal experience with mental illness,2 originally developed DBT therapy to treat suicidal behavior in the 1970s.3

What Disorders Can Dialectical Behavior Therapy Treat?

People suffering from various mental and behavioral disorders can benefit from dialectical behavior therapy. Among these are the following:

  • Alcohol or substance use disorders
  • Internet or gaming addiction
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Anorexia and bulimia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Panic disorders
  • Social anxiety
  • Hyperactivity disorder
  • Defiant behavior
  • Some forms of autism

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), memory impairments, executive functioning challenges, nonverbal learning disorder (NLD), language processing disorder, and dyslexia can all be treated with DBT, as well. Furthermore, children as young as toddlers to the elderly can benefit from a dialectical behavior therapy program.

How Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Work?

DBT therapy often includes many individual treatment sessions, group therapy, and, in some situations, couples or relationship therapy sessions. All can be conducted via telephone or online.4 A therapist will assist you in developing the skills and techniques necessary to address the issues that are producing your intense emotional reactions. You will be motivated and encouraged to apply these techniques in your daily life, overcoming any challenges that may emerge. Dialectical behavior therapy techniques will teach you how to regulate and balance the opposing forces in your life. Learning to accept what you can’t change is at the heart of DBT therapy.

The main dialectical behavior therapy techniques are the following:5

  • Core mindfulness: Mindfulness allows you to “live in the moment” by focusing on the present.
  • Distress tolerance: These skills assist you in accepting yourself and your existing circumstances.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Interpersonal effectiveness enables you to be more assertive in a relationship while maintaining a positive and healthy rapport.
  • Emotion regulation: This allows you to deal with strong emotions more effectively. The skills you gain will assist you in recognizing, naming, and changing your emotions.

A DBT therapy program typically lasts six months at the minimum, as this is how long it takes to learn all of the above skills. However, everyone is different, and this time commitment can vary depending on your individual needs.

Goals & Benefits of DBT

Each therapeutic environment has its unique structure and goals, although the following are characteristic of DBT benefits and goals:

  • Acceptance and change: You’ll discover techniques for accepting and tolerating your life circumstances, emotions, and yourself. You will also gain skills that will assist you in making positive adjustments in your behavior and interactions with others.
  • Behavioral: You’ll learn to identify problems and destructive behavior patterns, then replace them with healthier and more productive ones.
  • Cognitive: You’ll concentrate on modifying ineffective or harmful attitudes and beliefs.
  • Collaboration: You’ll learn how to successfully communicate and collaborate as a team.
  • Skill sets: You’ll gain new capabilities by learning new skills.
  • Support: You’ll be consistently encouraged to recognize and develop your positive strengths and attributes.

DBT Effectiveness & Success Rates

According to research, dialectical behavior therapy is beneficial regardless of a person’s age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or race/ethnicity.6

The first randomized controlled study of DBT therapy was published in 1991. It revealed that DBT improved the lives of chronically suicidal and self-injuring women with borderline personality disorder (BPD), a clinical population previously thought to be untreatable.7 Furthermore, one study found that more than 75% of people with BPD no longer met the diagnostic criteria for the condition after a year of treatment.8

The Cost of DBT & Insurance Coverage

While mental health coverage in Tennessee will vary, as will the out-of-pocket costs, all health insurance companies must provide partial or full coverage for mental health treatment, including DBT.9 Some plans will only cover services given by in-network providers, while others may cover services provided by out-of-network providers in full or in part.

Considering DBT consists of a weekly individual therapy session, a weekly group therapy session, and weekly phone conversations, a Dialectical behavior therapy program might cost anywhere from $150 to $300 per week.10

Two important factors influence outpatient treatment costs: the type of mental health practitioner providing therapy and the location where they work. The higher a therapist’s costs are, the more education or experience they have. Furthermore, the expense of therapy will be higher in areas where office rent is high or where there are few therapists.

How To Find The Best DBT Provider in Tennessee

Because DBT therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or talk therapy, many therapists are educated in it. It is ideal to choose someone who specializes in DBT, however. Those listed with the Linehan Board of Certification have been vetted and confirmed to have the necessary skills training and expertise to offer DBT therapy.

Here, you’ll find a list of practitioners organized by city and information about their backgrounds and specialties. When choosing DBT therapists and mental health professionals, it’s important to ask lots of questions and to keep the following in mind:

  • Education, training, license, and years of experience
  • Specialties and services offered
    • Ask about the therapist’s expertise and experience treating your specific symptoms or area of concern.
  • Treatment methods and philosophies
  • Insurance companies they work with
  • Office hours
  • Pricing
  • Session length

Athena Care’s care coordinators can assist you with any questions or concerns about dialectical behavior therapy and mental health treatment insurance at one of various mental health clinics in Tennessee, open Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Athena Care offers a full-spectrum of mental and behavioral health services to those in Tennessee.

We have qualified therapists and accept many of the big name insurance providers. Our locations are open Monday-Friday from 7am to 6pm. Learn more below:


  1. Youell, Joy. “How Do I Find DBT Therapy?” Medically reviewed by Whitney White MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC for BetterHelp, 2022, https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-dbt-therapy-near-me/
  2. Carey, Benedict. “Expert on Mental Illness Reveals Her Own Fight.” The New York Times, 2011. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/health/23lives.html
  3. Vaughn, Stephanie PsyD. “History of DBT: Origins and Foundations.” Psychotherapy Academy, 2021, https://psychotherapyacademy.org/dbt/history-of-dialectical-behavioral-therapy-a-very-brief-introduction/
  4. Capecchi, Stephanie LCSW. “DBT Therapy Online: How It Works & Who It’s Right For.” Reviewed by Naveed Saleh for Choosing Therapy, 2022, https://www.choosingtherapy.com/dbt-therapy-online/
  5. Schimelpfening, Nancy. “What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?” Medically reviewed By Steven Gans, MD for Dotdash Media, Inc., 2021, https://www.verywellmind.com/dialectical-behavior-therapy-1067402
  6. Van Dijk, Sheri, Jeffrey, Janet, Katz, Mark R. “A randomized, controlled, pilot study of dialectical behavior therapy skills in a psychoeducational group for individuals with bipolar disorder.” Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 145, Issue 3, 2013, Pages 386-393, ISSN 0165-0327, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2012.05.054
  7. Linehan MM, Armstrong HE, Suarez A, Allmon D, Heard HL. “Cognitive-behavioral treatment of chronically parasuicidal borderline patients.” Arch Gen Psychiatry, 1991 Dec;48(12):1060-4. doi: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1845222/
  8. Stiglmayr, C., Stecher-Mohr, J., Wagner, T. et al. Effectiveness of dialectic behavioral therapy in routine outpatient care: the Berlin Borderline Study. bord personal disord emot dysregul 1, 20 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/2051-6673-1-20
  9. “Is DBT Covered by Insurance?” Suzanne Wallach, 2020. https://suzannewallach.com/dbt-resources/is-dbt-covered-by-insurance/
  10. Haragutchi, Hart MA, LMHCA. “How much Does Therapy Cost?” Reviewed by: Benjamin Troy, MD for Choosing Therapy, 2020. https://www.choosingtherapy.com/cost-of-therapy/

If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.

One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control. 

(615) 320-1155