Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

DBT combines contemporary research findings on what helps people make lasting change with ancient mindfulness practices borrowed from Eastern and Western contemplative traditions.

If you struggle with any of the following, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) can help:

  • Feeling like your emotions overwhelm you
  • Frequent ups and downs in your relationships with friends and family
  • Problems with anger, especially in your romantic relationships
  • Addictive or compulsive behaviour
  • Self-harm
  • Feelings of hopelessness or depression

Call Jacqueline on 07542 800689

What is DBT?


DBT combines contemporary research findings on what helps people make lasting change with ancient mindfulness practices borrowed from Eastern and Western contemplative traditions.

DBT was developed by Dr Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington to help people who struggled with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), now known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). This is often characterised by impulsive behaviour, self-harm, difficulty in interpersonal relationships and intense emotional fluctuations.

Initially recognised as the gold standard in treating those with BPD/EUPD, DBT has also proven to be more effective than traditional therapy in treating a range of issues that have difficulty in regulating emotions at their core.

DBT is a specialist Cognitive Behavioural Treatment and skillset designed for people who experience difficulties in managing or regulating their emotions, who may have found unhealthy ways of coping such as alcohol or drugs, self-harm or attempted suicide.

DBT uniquely helps us change behaviours whilst accepting that ongoing difficulties will arise.

The focus is on helping you to learn effective coping strategies:

  • To deal with life on life’s terms
  • To deal with distressing situations
  • To regulate emotions
  • To improve interpersonal relationships, and
  • To be more present in your everyday life.

It is a mode of therapy that can be useful for those experiencing loss or emotional distress as well as those having difficulty with anger, isolation, relationship conflict, chaotic relationships, mood swings, or impulsive behaviours.

DBT emphasises creating a life you want to live.

This therapy was designed to address problems in regulating overwhelming emotions, impulsive behaviours and obsessive-compulsive/overactive thinking. Extensive research has shown that DBT skills can be applied successfully in treating conditions such as eating disorders, working with trauma and addictions.

The premise of DBT is that it is interactive. The therapist will do 50% of the work and the client undertakes to match this with 50% work and effort.

Throughout the therapy you are supported and encouraged to apply DBT concepts and skills to your own life.

You will be provided with worksheets and short videos to be downloaded (or viewed online) and to aid your learning.

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What does “dialectic” mean in DBT?

The dialectic in DBT refers to two seemingly opposite things being true at the same time.

For example, if you accept yourself and believe you are doing the best you can, you can also believe that you need to make changes.

Jacqueline Colligan, BA (Hons), MSc, Dip Couns. MBACP


Counselling & Psychotherapy

I am a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist, trained in London, educated to Masters Degree level, and a professionally registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy).

Originally, I worked in Behavioural Healthcare Science and Organisational Psychology as a Public Health Academic, lecturing and researching at Newcastle University Medical School and on the University of Durham MBA Programme. As a result, I have authored numerous academic papers on changing health behaviours, and have several high ranking publications in these fields of study.

Contact me to arrange a consultation.

Call 07542 800689 or email me at [email protected]

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