Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) treatment is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy that utilizes a cognitive-behavioral approach. Dialectical thinking refers to the ability to see that two competing or opposing forces can apply to the same thing. The dialectic at the heart of DBT is acceptance and change; in other words, I can accept myself as a worthy person even though there are some key things I need to change in order to be a healthier person.

The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to overreact in severe and extreme manner toward certain emotional situations, creating problems with romantic, family and friend relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people get very emotionally aroused, very quickly and take a long time to return to a calm state of mind.

People who experience extreme swings in their emotions, see the world in black-and-white, and seem to always be jumping from one crisis to another typically alienate other people and create negative relationship patterns. The people that experience these outbursts usually don’t have any methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotion. DBT is a method for teaching skills that will help in reducing the quick and intense responses and learn to de-escalate and self-regulate better.

 

 

DBT is also a therapy method that validates the positive aspects of a person in treatment, rather than just focusing on the negative things that they are wanting to change. It helps a person identify their strengths and builds on them so that the person can feel better about themselves and their life.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual’s ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Third, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to interact with others in a way that is maintains self-respect and strengthens relationships.

 

Facts You Should Know About Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

The word “dialectical” describes the notion that two opposing ideas can be true at the same time. In DBT, there is always more than one way to think about a situation, and all people have something unique and different to offer.

Because the core of DBT involves exploring the specific background of the individual, every DBT treatment is completely customized, based solely in the actual experiences of the patient.

DBT treats conditions where the individual’s self-image is in need of restoration. By developing a more effective means of communicating with others, DBT helps the individual gain confidence in even stressful situations.

Another hallmark of DBT is training the individual to be tolerant of others, even in those situations where their viewpoints are different or disputed.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness skills can help you to center and calm yourself to better understand your emotions. You learn to reflect and train your brain to stay in the present, rather than getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future. You can sit with your anxiety instead of pushing it away, and observe your thoughts, listen to yourself, and acknowledge your fears or apprehensions. In practicing these skills, you can avoid taking things personally and listen more fully to better understand others. Mindfulness is encouraged throughout all 4 stages of DBT therapy and practiced at home during the week.

Emotional Regulation

Depression can present different symptoms, depending on the person. But for most people, depression is feeling sad and not being able to snap out of it and having it last for weeks. People also often report feeling unmotivated, fatigued, irritable and having a lack of interest in things that they used to find enjoyable. Many people experiencing depression report changes in sleep patterns and eating behaviors. For some people, it can include having negative intrusive thoughts about self-worth and even thoughts of suicide.

Professional Therapy with a Client Focus

There are times in life when we can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy. We have created a safe, comfortable and professional environment to discuss the issues in your life. We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport. We treat each client with respect and dignity.

 

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Distress Tolerance

Distress Tolerance skills are used to help us cope and survive during a crisis and helps us tolerate short-term or long-term physical or emotional pain.

Distress Tolerance skills address the tendency of some individuals to experience negative emotions as overwhelming and unbearable. People with a low tolerance for distress can become overwhelmed at relatively mild levels of stress, and may react with negative behaviors. Many traditional treatment approaches focus on avoiding painful situations, but in the distress tolerance module of DBT, clients learn that there will be times when pain is inevitable or unavoidable and the best course is to learn to accept and tolerate distress.

A main part of distress tolerance is the concept of radical acceptance. This refers to experiencing the situation and accepting the reality of it when it is something the person cannot change. By practicing radical acceptance without being judgmental or trying to fight reality, the client will be less vulnerable to intense and prolonged negative feelings. Within the distress tolerance module, there are four skill categories:

 

  • Distracting
  • Self-soothing
  • Improving the moment
  • Focusing on pros and cons

 

These skills are aimed at helping individuals cope with crisis and experience distress without avoiding it or making it worse.

 

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal Effectiveness skills are extremely important because the way we communicate with others has a significant impact on the quality of our relationships and on the outcome of our interactions. In order to communicate more effectively, clients are taught skills that help them approach conversations in a more thoughtful and deliberate manner rather than acting and reacting impulsively due to stress or intense emotions. Two key components of interpersonal effectiveness are the ability to ask for things and to say no to requests, when appropriate.

There are three types of effectiveness that must be addressed in interpersonal exchanges:

 

  • Objective effectiveness: the goal or purpose of the interaction which often is a tangible outcome.
  • Relationship effectiveness: the goal of a conflict-free relationship.
  • Self-respect effectiveness: the goal is maintaining personal values and dignity.

 

For any given situation, these three factors must be considered and prioritized. The individual is likely to be more satisfied with the interaction and outcome if his or her highest priority has been addressed.

Throughout all stages of DBT there is a weekly goal to complete homework assignments to practice and rehearse the new skills in real life situations. This allows the client to build new neural pathways to develop new behaviors and to encourage sustained change. The skills that are assigned to each person are customized based on the treatment plan developed in the office. The therapist helps the person to learn, apply and master the DBT skills in each weekly session.

Our Team

Our mission is to improve the quality of lives for individuals with behavioral and emotional challenges by providing exceptional mental health services using the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices helping our clients to become more active and productive members of the community.
Marissa Preciado

MS, LMFT

Bergen Filgas

MS, LMFT

Michael Lospinoso

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Eric Garcia

MA, Registered Associate PCC

Samantha Moreno

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

Rachael Cresci

DBH, LCSW

Valerie Lamke

MS, LMFT

Mae Grimme

MSW, Registered Associate CSW

About us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California Office -1
Abalance Client-Centered Counseling Modesto California - General 7

Why choose a therapist at Abalance Client-Centered Counseling?

Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

We have a team of professionals that are continually sharpening their skills as mental health providers and attend regular training from the Clinical Director. Having a competent and knowledgeable therapist is only part of it.

We are also a group of caring and compassionate people that strive to make your time with us a safe, comfortable and rewarding experience.

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression Disorders
  • LGBTQ+ Gender Issues
  • Play Therapy
  • Child Disruptive Behavior
  • Childhood Trauma

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is accepting new clients in all three (3) of our Central Valley locations in Modesto, Merced, and Turlock California.

No. You can contact us directly and we will get your insurance eligibility established and schedule your first appointment. Your Health Plan may require an additional call to get a registration number after you have already established as a client in our office. We have a team here to help guide you through these things if you need assistance.

Yes, we currently accept HPSJ and CCAH MediCal Insurances only. For other insurances, we provide an out-of-network option for you to bill your insurance and get reimbursed for up to 80% of your therapy costs in our offices.

No, we treat mild/moderate symptoms for a variety of issues, but not alcohol and drug issues. If you have an addiction or are seeking sobriety, we refer out to a professional that treats substance abuse.

Weekly sessions are the best care option for mental health outcomes, but we also provide an every other week option, or Teletherapy if you have a hectic schedule.

We can see clients as young as 2 years old. A session is a once a week appointment lasting 50 minutes.

Yes. Our staff can get you in touch with the transportation coordinator from your Health Plan to arrange necessary transportation to-and-from the therapy office.

The Best Thing In Play Therapy

We have advanced training in play therapy and utilize several treatment options to best fit the needs of our youngest clients. We have specially designed Play Therapy Rooms at each office, dedicated to enriching the therapy experience and reaching our goals.

why choose us

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling is dedicated to providing effective mental health counseling to our community in the Central Valley.

 

We have over 15 years of clinical experience to provide the most effective treatment options. Our team of therapists have specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Play Therapy.

About Us

DEDICATED THERAPISTS

We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport with each client. And we treat each client with respect and dignity.

Well Counseling

You will learn skills of mindfulness and how to balance thoughts and feelings; and begin to build insight into your issues and have a plan to reinforce your goals.

Teletherapy

Teletherapy is provided by using long-distance technologies so that clients and therapists do not have to be in the same place at the same time.

Transportation Assistance

Transportation is provided by your Health Plan. If you have problems with getting to your appointments, we are able to help arrange a ride.

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Our office is dedicated to providing the best mental health services to ALL people in our community regardless of income.

Abalance Client-Centered Counseling
Offices Located Throughout The Central Valley California

Phone: (209) 262-4387

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

SATURDAY: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

SUNDAY: Closed

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