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Dialectical Behavior Therapy and ADHD

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is one of the Go-To treatments for ADHD. DBT teaches many people to be less impulsive and to manage strong emotions.

It was originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, a psychologist in Seattle, Washington, in the 1980’s, to treat emotional dysregulation in borderline personality disorder (BPD). 

Because many conditions involve an inability to control emotions—ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders—DBT has been found to be an effective treatment for all of them. It has become a Go-To treatment for ADHD.

What is DBT?

DBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy that teaches mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

What is DBT Lite?

Full DBT treatment can be costly and lengthy, usually taking over a year. The program consists of individual therapy, outpatient group skills therapy, skills coaching and meetings with a DBT consultation team. Individuals with ADHD can benefit from modified versions of the full program.  We teach DBT skills in individual therapy sessions, rather than requiring clients to attend both individual and group sessions.  We also offer a shorter (6-12 week) group that teaches some of the DBT skills that are central to emotional regulation, rather than having clients attend groups for a year.  


If you are interested in starting DBT Lite please contact Lauren Smith, Clinical Assistant, at [email protected] or call/text 816-224-4400.