Counseling Group Miami

DBT Program

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program

The Counseling Group is proud to have a team of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) specialists to provide the most up to date and high-quality treatment for adolescents and adults. In our program, we provide both DBT and Radically Open DBT (RO DBT) depending on the individual needs of the clients.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy:

DBT is a form of therapy rooted in mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy and behaviorism designed to help clients create a life worth living. This treatment also involves valuable skills training in mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance to help move clients towards their individual goals and values. Developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., DBT has been empirically validated through controlled scientific studies to be an effective treatment for a variety of disorders that involve emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, and/or behavioral difficulties.  

For more information, please click on the following link to view the Behavioral Tech website, which was created by the founder of DBT, Marsha Linehan, PhD. 

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy:

RO DBT is an evidence-based treatment, which was developed by Thomas R. Lynch, PhD, for individuals who struggle with excessive overcontrol issues such as perfectionism, rigidity, and avoidance. RO DBT helps clients to increase openness and receptivity, flexibility, social connectedness, and healthy emotion through skills training and specialized individual therapy.

For more information, please visit the official RO DBT website

DBT and RO-DBT have been proven to be effective treatments for the following issues and disorders:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Suicidality and Self-Injurious Behavior
  • Substance Abuse
  • Difficulty with Interpersonal Relationships
  • Impulsive and Risky Behavior
  • Pervasive Emotion Dysregulation
  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Avoidant Personality Disorder
  • Extreme rigidity and perfectionism
  • High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders


Engaging in DBT is a commitment lasting at minimum six (6) months and may take up to one year depending on clinical needs. An intake interview is required to assess if DBT is the appropriate treatment for the individual.

In addition to standard DBT, we offer intensive treatment options that can be completed in a shorter time frame. Intensive DBT may be appropriate for individuals who need more intensive treatment than standard DBT, individuals transitioning out of residential treatment, or for individuals who need to proceed through the program at a faster pace. The intensive treatment option is based on clinical recommendation.

For more information about our intensive treatment and other DBT tracks, please visit our DBT Tracks tab.  

Please contact The Counseling Group at (305) 857-0050 to schedule your intake and orientation interview with one of our DBT therapists. Also, please visit our Facebook Page for more information and updates about DBT and our program.

Goals for DBT treatment include:

  • Improve one’s ability to regulate emotions and act wisely
  • Eliminate self-harm and suicide attempts as well as self-harm and suicidal urges
  • Improve functioning and communication in interpersonal relationships
  • Reduce impulsivity, including drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and other compulsive behaviors that impair one’s quality of life
  • Improve one’s ability to deal with crisis situations more effectively and without the use of destructive behaviors
  • Gradually help clients develop a stronger and more integrated sense of self
  • Develop healthy flexibility
  • Improved social connectedness
  • Reduce avoidance behavior
  • Improve behaviors that move people towards values and goals

Please contact The Counseling Group at (305) 857-0050 to schedule your intake and orientation interview with one of our DBT therapists. Also, please visit our Facebook Page for more information and updates about DBT and our program.

The DBT Program at The Counseling Group is adherent to Dr. Marsha Linehan’s original treatment model, which is comprised of three elements: Individual therapy, phone coaching and skills training.

1. Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is provided to help clients integrate DBT skills into their lives and solve the problems that cause suffering. A strong collaborative relationship is developed between the client and DBT therapist to most effectively help clients to create a life that is fulfilling and in line with individual values and goals.

2. Phone Coaching

Phone coaching offers a unique opportunity for therapists to help clients use skillful behavior and act effectively in situations outside of the therapy session.

3. Skills Training

Skills training is typically provided in a group setting and can also be completed in individual sessions if necessary. Skills trainers teach clients skills to improve mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance.

4. Consultation Team

A critical component of practicing effective and adherent DBT is Consultation Team. Consultation Team meetings include all DBT therapists and occur weekly to address the following components: (a) therapy for the therapist, (b) case consultation, (c) clinical problem solving, (d) enhancement of clinical skills, (e) burnout reduction, and (f) enhancement of DBT team cohesiveness.

Individuals who engage in problematic behaviors, usually use them to cope with emotions, situations, or to problem solve. These behaviors may provide short-term relief, however, often the behaviors do not work long-term and can lead to negative consequences. Skills are taught to enhance clients’ capabilities to deal with painful emotions, relationships, and difficult situations more effectively.  

The full skills training curriculum takes approximately six months to complete. In the skills training groups, clients will practice mindfulness, be taught skills by the group facilitator, and will be assigned homework to practice the skills taught during that week. To be eligible to join DBT Groups, all individuals must also be participating in DBT individual therapy. The individual therapy component of DBT helps clients to integrate skills into their individual lives and experiences.

Skills training is taught in four modules: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Distress Tolerance. Each module contains valuable skills to help clients eliminate destructive behaviors, improve emotion regulation, increase interpersonal effectiveness, and develop greater self-awareness.

Mindfulness Skills: Teach clients to develop greater self-awareness, contact with the present moment, and to reduce reactivity.

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: Helps clients to develop and maintain healthy relationships, improve communication to ask for what they want, and maintain self-respect within relationships.  

Emotion Regulation Skills: Helps clients to gain a better understanding of emotions and how they function, as well as skills to reduce emotional extremes. Clients learn skills to improve their ability to regulate emotions, problem solve, and increase healthy behaviors that move them towards their values and goals.  

Distress Tolerance Skills: Teach clients how to deal with intense emotions and urges without engaging in destructive behaviors.  

For more information about skills training, please visit the Behavioral Tech website. 

The following groups are provided at The Counseling Group:

Monday Tuesday Thursday
Multifamily group for
Adult Skills Training
Adult Skills Training
Advanced DBT Group

Leslie Gil_LMHC

Leslie Gil, LMHC

Director of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Alma Lovaton Quagliato, LMFT

Chief Clinical Officer


Nicole Blank Koles, Psy.D.

Mina Tarquinio, LMHC

Cristina Oliver_LMFT

Cristina Oliver, LMFT

Jessica Pacheco, MSW

Caroline Betancourt, Psy.D.

We offer different DBT tracks to accommodate the individual needs of our clients. The tracks are general treatment outlines and treatment specifics will be based on assessment and evaluation of each client. Treatment plans may change according to clinical assessment as treatment progresses.

Standard track:

  • 1x/week individual therapy
  • 1x/week group
  • As needed family/couples therapy
  • Consultation team
  • Coaching calls

Trauma track:

  • In order to be ready for specialized trauma treatment, clients must demonstrate the ability and willingness to use skills instead of engaging in destructive behaviors, as well as the capability to tolerating painful emotions. Clients generally need at least one full round of standard DBT to be ready for trauma treatment. The client’s individual DBT therapist will make the determination of when the client is ready to begin trauma treatment.
      • Prior to trauma treatment:
        • 1x/week individual therapy (or more depending on severity)
        • 1x/week skills training
      • During trauma treatment:
        • 1x/week individual therapy
        • 1x/week specialized trauma therapy
          • Trauma treatments available include: DBT Prolonged Exposure Protocol, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Somatic Experiencing
  • As needed family/couples therapy
  • Consultation team
  • Coaching calls

Eating Disorder Track:

  • 1 -2x/week individual therapy (depending on severity)
  • 1x/week group
  • 1-2x/week nutritional counseling sessions
  • As needed medical monitoring with eating disorders physician
  • As needed body image sessions
  • As needed supported meals
  • As needed family/couples therapy
  • Coaching calls
  • Consultation team

Intensive track:

  • 2x/week individual therapy
  • 1x/week group
  • 1-2x/week individual skills sessions
  • Optional sessions as needed: mindfulness sessions, cope ahead sessions, substance abuse sessions, life-planning sessions, body image sessions, meal support, nutritional counseling, family therapy, somatic experiencing sessions
  • As needed family/couples therapy
  • Coaching calls
  • Consultation team
*** Intensive schedule will vary according to severity and time available for treatment***

Please contact The Counseling Group at (305) 857-0050 to schedule your intake and orientation interview with one of our DBT therapists. Also, please visit our Facebook Page for more information and updates about DBT and our program.

DBT Workshops

Stay tuned for upcoming workshops!