Do I have to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder to benefit from DBT?

Definitely not. When you initially research DBT, you will see a lot of information about treating borderline personality disorder. However, DBT is helpful for a variety of other issues including suicidal thoughts or self-harming. Please refer to our “who can benefit from DBT” section for more information.

How frequent are the therapy sessions?

At minimum, therapy sessions should be weekly. However, work with your therapist to determine if longer or more frequent sessions would help further teach and reinforce the DBT approach.
Will I have to do “homework” outside of therapy?

Although not a requirement when participating in informal DBT, practicing the skills outside of therapy will be very important. Your therapist may give you worksheets or activities to do at home so that you can reap the maximum benefit of the skills and learn when and how to use them on your own.

Can I still benefit from learning DBT skills without being part of a formalized program?

Absolutely. In fact, research shows that participating in a strict program has almost no impact on achieving better outcomes as compared to less formal learning. Thus, learning DBT skills with your therapist can still result in noticeable improvements.