The professional therapists at St. Louis DBT, LLC, housed within Gateway Wellness Associates, LLC, offer a comprehensive Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program for teen and adult clients of all genders. 

Here is more about the St. Louis DBT, LLC program:

What We Treat
DBT is effective to treat a wide range of mental health disorders. Our therapists have experience using DBT to treat:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Other Personality Disorders
  • PTSD/Trauma
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Eating Disorders and Substance Use Problems (though higher level of care may be necessary depending on severity of symptoms)

DBT is effective with wide ranging disorders because it focuses on changing behaviors that lead to debilitating symptoms, starting with the most serious. These include:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Self-harm (e.g., cutting, substance abuse, disordered eating)
  • Self-sabotage
  • Seemingly unending crises
  • Overwhelming emotions
  • Intrusive or racing thoughts
  • Relationship problems with friends, family and co-workers

Overview of DBT 
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) provides a framework for all approaches to therapy used at St. Louis DBT.  DBT provides a specific set of skills designed to help participants become more mindful, improve ability to handle stress and difficult emotions, and create or maintain healthy relationships. 

DBT was first developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington (Read her powerful personal story here). Today, Behavior Tech and The Linehan Institute conduct research, develop protocols and best practices and train practitioners of DBT.   All of the St. Louis DBT therapists have post-graduate training in DBT, and St. Louis DBT Owner and Founder Casey Limmer, MSW, LCSW is among the first professionals in the country to complete the Linehan Institute’s rigorous DBT certification process, which assures adherent, high-standard DBT skills. 

Depending on what stage you are in, you may have individual therapy and group skills classes or individual therapy by itself. To participate in group skills classes, you must be in individual therapy with a St. Louis DBT therapist or your own outside therapist.  You and your therapist will decide what is best to help you move forward, starting where you are.

DBT consists of four components.  The objectives of these components are to learn and apply skills until they become increasingly automatic in all (or most) areas of your life (e.g., home, school, work, social situations, friendships and intimate relationships).  

  • Group skills classes.  Group training is run like a class where the group leader teaches skills and practice exercises to help you use the skills at home, school, work and social situations. Up to eight clients meet weekly for 1.5 hours to learn and practice DBT skills. Two classes are offered:  one for young adults (age 17-25) and the other for adults (age 26+).  Classes are organized in four modules:  core mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.   It takes 6 months to complete all skills classes.  Most clients take the four DBT modules more than once to more fully absorb and apply the skills as they become increasingly automatic in most areas of your life, thus a typical course of treatment is 1 year.  Group skills training is NOT group therapy.  
  • Individual therapy.  In individual therapy, you will apply skills to current situations, track your progress and enhance your motivation.  
  • Telephone coaching.  These are 5-10 minute calls to help you use your coping skills when you are overwhelmed by thoughts, emotions or destructive urges before the problem behavior occurs.  You call your individual therapist as needed or your therapist may ask you to check in at certain times when you are at particular risk.
  • Consultation.  Your therapist consults with a team of DBT therapists to ensure you get the best care possible and to address your therapist’s need for support and encouragement. 

The goals of these components are to help you: 

  • Become more mindful of your thoughts, emotions and behaviors so you can use skills effectively
  • Increase your ability to tolerate your distress in stressful situations
  • Regulate your emotions more effectively so your highs and lows are not extreme
  • Improve your relationships with family, friends, co-workers and others

DBT:  A Blend of Approaches 
DBT is a blend of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness practices.  Typically, Prolonged Exposure and Eye Movement, Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) may be used in conjunction with DBT in order to process trauma or to address anxiety, phobias, nightmares, and avoidance behaviors. In the DBT framework, this blend of approaches helps bring balance to what can often seem like a chaotic life.

How to Contact St. Louis DBT
Interested in talking to someone about whether you could benefit from DBT? During your free telephone consultation, you and a therapist will determine whether St. Louis DBT's program will be effective to meet your unique needs. To contact St. Louis DBT, email or call 314-932-7415.

DBT Program

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