Counseling Group Miami

DBT Program

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program

Dialectical Behavior Therapy:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. It was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). It is considered the gold standard treatment for individuals with BPD. Research has also shown that DBT is effective in treating depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders.

The main goal in DBT is to help clients build a life worth living. In DBT, the client and therapist work together to set goals that are meaningful to the client. Therapy will focus on decreasing harmful behaviors and increasing life enhancing behaviors. DBT helps enhance a client’s abilities through the use of the DBT skills. These skills are focused on the areas of Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance. DBT participants use the skills in order to navigate every day to crisis situations that may arise in their life.

1. Individual Therapy

Individual therapy consists of weekly 50 minute sessions with a DBT therapist.  Sessions focus on how to help clients integrate DBT skills into their lives and solve the problems that cause them suffering. A strong collaborative relationship is key between the client and DBT therapist.

2. Skills Training

Skills training is provided in a weekly 90-min group setting.  Individual skills sessions are offered when clinically indicated. Skills trainers teach the DBT skills across the four DBT modules: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.

3. Phone Coaching

Clients have the ability to call their therapists when needing help to use skillful behavior.  Therapists are available seven days a week for set hours each day.

4. Consultation Team

Our DBT team  gathers for two hours every week.  This is a critical component of practicing effective and adherent DBT.  Consultation Team meetings focus on making sure that we are consistently providing effective treatment for all clients enrolled in our DBT programs.

DBT for Adults (ages 18+)

To be admitted into  our adult program, a client will first need to be evaluated by a DBT therapist.  We want to assess and make sure you are a good fit for our DBT program and confirm the appropriate level of care.  It is important to know if we can provide you with what you need!  There is an initial six month commitment to our program. This is because it takes six months to get through all the DBT skills one time. Research shows that DBT is most effective if done for 12+ months.  A six month commitment can give us all a good idea if DBT is working for you.  All adults in our program are in individual therapy, skills training group and have access to their therapist for coaching calls.

DBT for Adolescents (ages 13-17)

Our adolescent program is geared for teens 13 years and older. Participants who are 13 years old must be in the 8th grade in order to be considered appropriate for our program. To be admitted, the adolescent would have to first be evaluated by a DBT therapist.  This program consists of individual sessions, adolescent skills group, parent skills group, and family therapy (when needed). There is a six month commitment by both teen and parent(s) for skills training. It takes the full six months to get through all the DBT skills one time. Parents and teens  learn the DBT skills at the same pace but in their respective groups. Parents must be willing to participate in weekly parent skills group in order to learn and reinforce the skills at home. Without parent participation, it isn’t a comprehensive DBT program and will be less effective.

The following groups are provided at The Counseling Group:

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
6-7:30pm
Adult Program
12-1:30pm
Adolescent Program- Parent Group

6-7:30pm
Adolescent Program- Adolescent Group

10-11:30am
Adult Program

Leslie Gil_LMHC

Leslie Gil, LMHC

Director of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Alma Lovaton Quagliato, LMFT

Chief Clinical Officer

Nicole-Blank-Koles

Nicole Blank Koles, Psy.D.

Mina Tarquinio, LMHC

Cristina Oliver_LMFT

Cristina Oliver, LMFT

Jessica Pacheco, MSW

Caroline Betancourt, Psy.D.

Loved Ones Workshop

  • A 10-week group for the family and partners of the DBT program participants.
  • Family members are taught key DBT Skills.
  • Loved ones are educated on emotion dysregulation, validation and how to best support the DBT program participant.
  • Workshop is offered several times a year.

DBT Skills Intensive

  • An 8-week, twice weekly skills group focusing on filling your toolbox.
  • Do not have to be in DBT therapy or DBT program. 
  • Participants are taught the most essential skills from the four DBT modules: Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance.

Stay tuned for updates!