What is DBT Therapy? (dialectical behavior therapy) – Mental Health Videos with Kati Morton

What is DBT Therapy? (dialectical behavior therapy) – Mental Health Videos with Kati Morton

Hey, everyone! Thanks for checking back. Now, today I’m going to talk with you about DBT therapy or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. So, stay tuned! So, like I said, today I’m going to talk about DBT therapy (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). Now, to give you a little history of DBT, and I’m going to try to keep this as short as I can, but if any of you want to Google it or get a workbook and check it out do that. ‘Cause there is a lot more to it than I can ever get into a Youtube video. So DBT therapy was created by Marsha Linehan and she was studying, she was a psychology researcher, I believe, at the University of Washinton at the time. What? Washington. Hey, Huskies! Okay. Anyway, she was studying there and she decided due to her own struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, she noticed that a lot of therapists that were working with patients like this, that we were, what we call, getting “burnt out”. And when in therapy we talk about burn out, it’s like you really want to help this client, but you honestly have to refer them because you’re so exhausted. You’ve tried everything. They’re still having suicide attempts and you don’t know what else to do. You’re feeling kind of helpless. And so they recommend as a therapist that you refer them out, and so she came up with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy combining some of CBT therapy skills, which I have a video on CBT and you want to click on the link here actually if you want to check it out. And it’s combining that and also some of the Buddhist principles about being aware and mindful. She kind of squished those together and created DBT therapy. And I made some notes here. I have my laptop down here. That’s why I’m looking down, so that I don’t forget any of the contents of it because DBT therapy is something that has 2 parts. First of all, you see a therapist like me, who’s a certified DBT therapist and they’ll see you each week for an hour just like your regular therapy. But on top of that, you also are in a DBT group and you meet for 2 to 2 1/2 hours each week. That’s honestly where you get into the nitty gritty of this. You do a lot of homework. If any of you are looking for a workbook, I have one at my website KatiMorton.com in the Widget, a great DBT workbook and you can find it that way. Now, without further ado, because it can get, like I said, it’s really intensive. There are 4 modules to DBT and I’m going to go through them really quickly, so that I can keep this short. But if any of you want me to do more videos on this, give this a thumbs up and in the comments below let me know what topic you want me to talk about more. I’ve already done a video on the first one, so I’m just going to say Mindfulness is one of the first. They call it like the foundation of DBT and I have a video on that, so you can click this link for more information on Mindfulness and I’ll talk about the What skills, the How skills and all that jazz. The next portion, #2 is Distress Tolerance. Now, Distress Tolerance is what I talk about a lot when I say: “Distract yourself! Don’t do it! Don’t give into the urges!” And they talk about distracting with ACCEPTS. DBT is all about the acronyms, so get ready because you’re going to have to remember a lot of these. Now, ACCEPTS talks about Activities, like: “Hey, get out of the house. Go see a friend. Get coffee. Do some art”. I don’t know. Have an activity! Contribute; help out others in your community. Look at us, we’re so good. Comparisons, Emotions, Push Away, like: “I can’t deal with this now”. Push it to the back, right? Thoughts and Sensations; so if you looked at all the first letters of all those words, it reads ACCEPTS. Now, there are others under that, but I want to keep going ’cause you can also let me know if you like and you want me to talk about Distress Tolerance in more detail. Now, the next portion of DBT is Emotion Regulation because, like I talk about in my Borderline Personality Disorder video which you can click here to view, I talk about regulating our emotion because when we have Borderline we feel like it’s all out of whack. We worry: “Don’t leave me! Wait, no! I hate you! Agh!” We just feel really overwhelmed. And so, regulating our emotions can really be the key to us being more participative with our friends, feeling like we can really love others how others love us and we start to feel a little bit more safe. And our mood, instead of being up and down like this, it starts to kind of level out and it can really help. And this, the main part of Emotion Regulation is, I guess, the best way to say is a huge chunk of CBT therapy. They want you to realize what event has caused this, what emotion came out of it, what action you took as a result and tries to slow down the process and get us better able to regulate it without just jumping to a conclusion. Right? So I’m going to scoot down that. And there a lot of acronyms under this, so like I said, get prepared. Now, the last, the 4th portion of DBT therapy is Interpersonal Effectiveness. Now, something that we struggle with when we have BPD is having close relationships and having people that we really trust, we love. We feel like they trust and love us in return, and we’re secure in that and having that secure attachment. Right? So in this portion we talk about kind of how to assert yourself while at the same time not being aggressive. Right? So: “Hey, Sean, what you said to me really hurt my feelings and I understand you’re going through a lot right now, but I felt very misunderstood” or very unimportant or whatever it is you’re feeling and you’re able to express that without being like: “You stupid son of a gun! I hate your guts!” And bah, bah, bah! Right? And it teaches us how to better communicate. So if any of you are considering DBT or if you’ve been told or have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder I would look into it. It is amazing! It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s so worth it. You’re worth it. Check out the workbook on my website, the one that’s in my Widget because it’s amazing. And doing the homework and putting the work in will really mean a happier and healthy life down the road. And isn’t that what we’re all working for, right? So keep checking back. Like I said, let me know. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. And check out my other videos that I linked because it’s really helpful and it will give you a bigger picture of what this is about. We’ll keep putting one foot in front of another as we work towards a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body. Subtitles by the Amara.org community



  • Wizdomtrek

    Oh YouTube is WOOOOOOONDERFUL! K so I basically have the equivalent of a university education/technical training education at my disposal, NOOOOOOW, now I have my "own" psychotherapist too boot …..I feel SOOOOO SPECIAL 😀

  • Jerri Gallagher Clegg

    I need if I can examples of what 2 looks like. I keep quitting therapy all the time; I suspect I completely misunderstand the therapist all time, but irregardless I feel hurt by therapist ‘s actions so often (BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE I’M JUST SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT THEY WANT fm ME; THERE’s NEVER ANY EXPLANATION w IT) that I just give up. I know I need therapy terribly badly, but I feel therapist’s tell you I’m going to do DBT techniques. Then next thing you know, in actuality, they’re doing things that you say hurt your feelings, and, (it feels like) the therapist is dismissing whatever your complaint about what your awareness is.
    I don’t get it. I cannot learn this way. I had a really, really, traumatic childhood, and all I want is to be slowly healed. If I have someone mess w my head, I cannot survive. 🙁

  • Capitaine Haddock

    Basically what happened in my last appointment ! My psychologist got burnt out , and she explained me a therapy how it worked ! Really good I found Kati's video about DBT ! Really helpful to understand where I stand and the intentions of my therapist !

  • Juan Fernando Montes

    like a toddler "talk more about everything" 🙂

  • Marcia Ray

    I am sick of group and cant ever conce trate. I have adult add,ocd,eating disorder,bpd,etc. I have also been diagnosed with bipolar type2 by Mayo clinic. Iwish i could do skype or 1 on 1 at home. On top of that i now severe arthritis and cant walk. Not all therapists are qualified! i am 65 and seeing them since i was 16. I feel hopeless. I have also been inpt. Several times including the great Mayo clinic mood disorder unit( what a rip). So i am ready to give up!

  • Louis Demers-St-Antoine

    The bit about interpersonal effectiveness is actively unhelpful. When I do that, people tend to say "don't try to shrink talk your way out of this" whereas yelling gets me some level of respecting for being honest and standing up for myself. Contrary to popular belief, people actually hate it when you use the "starting your sentences with I" strategy.

  • Milubee


  • Tyler Hickman

    DBT did not work for me, it actually made things worse. Learned lots of skills that I still use as needed but while going to group and private sessions I experienced worsening depression and risky behavior's that ceased when I stopped going.

  • Humberto Gonzalez

    I keep thinking her jewelry is an avocado.

  • Dan McElroy

    Heads up, a lot of the links to other videos (the ones you point to) don't work. Even the link to your website doesn't work. Cool video though!

  • Lynette Holmes

    Kati Morton do you have BPD? Because you always refer to yourself. Like “us” and “we” when discussing doing the modules of DBT

  • Leanna Bug

    my fiance is have good behaviors and band behaviors somtimes and i helps him to be randy good all time and also that my boy frind has a bo all the time can you help me i,am leanna echols

  • Samanta A

    Hi i looked at yoir website and the workbook is no longer there. Is there anywhere else we can find it?

  • Sonder11M

    Who's here because of Selena Gomez

  • Suzanne Olivar

    I finally found a DBT group in my area, but I can't afford it. They do not accept my insurance. I am feeling stuck.

  • Chanel Crane

    Please do more videos on this topic .

  • Angie Saltigerald

    after a year of bouncing in and out of hospitals I ended up at a residential treatment center focused entirely on DBT and co-occuring disorders. it was the best thing ive ever done

  • Megan Carney

    DBT saved my life. I made lifelong friends with my group and I’ll be forever thankful that Seattle Children’s opened their arms to me.

  • Amal Trabelsi

    Eyo subtitle ( C.C ) writer it’s hummm Washington*

  • Utkarsh Verma

    Nothing will ever work if one keeps finding the cure of their mental illness in the outside world.
    In Indian yogic science there are 2 terms "karma" and "kriya" .
    Karma means "action" and it's something that you do physically in the outside world. ("Activities" in "ACCEPTS" is an example of it)
    And Kriya means "process" and it refers to everything happening inside the boundaries of your skin. Digestion, respirations, blood cell generation, your thought process, the chemical cocktail cooking in your brain and so on… They are all "Kriya"
    I'm not an expert of psychology but I have noticed that most of western psychological therepies rely more on Karma than Kriya which in my opinion isn't the best way. It of course works, but It's not the most efficient way! People need to turn inwards and learn to be aware of their inner process!

  • Awilda Denise Perez

    More videos on panic attacks anxiety and depression

  • Laura Ellla

    Can someone plz tell me where the workbook is ? it says he website is under constrction. Thank you

  • what

    Alright, why haven't you aged at all in 5 years?

  • Veggie Metal

    Damn she's hot.

  • Christie Trout

    My small town doesn't have DBT anything. I bout the workbook, and no one knows what I'm talking about.

  • Cory Freeburg

    Will you please do a video on using dbt to treat D.I.D.

  • Kyle Dean Bauer

    Awesome! Thanks doc

  • Bella Rose

    ADD & anxiety

  • Amandeep Kour

    Can u plz tell us abt. Paranoid personality disorder

  • Jess Blackall

    I just uploaded my first video on my DBT experience and DBT seriously changed my whole world. It is an amazing therapy model <3

  • Jenny Gibbons

    Truly ridiculously off-putting manner of delivery

  • cherry pop

    I had no idea I was a cluster B! It just dawned on me 🙂

  • Nala-Flor croxall/Erickson

    I am doing my master in counseling due to lack of Spanish speaker counselors for the LGBT community, and due to HIV diagnosis and trauma. So your videos help me a lot to help them.

  • † Joey Faithful †

    thank you for the video, I am learning new coping tools and this seems like a good one. I can't go to a therapist for it, but at least I got some pointers from you, so it helps.

  • Amany .A

    Is this only available in the US ?

  • Amany .A

    Is there any online therapy mybe thats for free ?

  • Louise Blair

    I’m getting this for my anorexia 🙂

  • Nemesishk

    Kati you are so pretty and I just love the way you talk <3

  • Nicky Freedman

    spent 4 of 6 minutes saying nothing

  • Lasciel

    Would have been a great video, however there a lot of errors in this video.
    1. Marsha Linehan studied in Loyola University (Chicago) and did a fellowship in Stonybrook University in new york state.
    2. Your description of DBT, in general, is all kinds of questions.
    3. Marsha Linehan herself suffered from BPD and thus wanted to help others suffering as at the time BPD was not a disorder.
    4.DBT is under the umbrella of CBT.
    5. DBT was developed to help therapists tackle multiple problems at the same time (teaching new skills while dealing with chronic suicidal behavior)
    6. There are a ton more errors in your video, and it makes me worried that you claim to be "certified" as I think you lack the knowledge to be a professional therapist.

  • Andi-Roo .at. TheWorldForRealz

    Kati, please do more videos on DBT! I've watched your play list on BPD and want to learn more about treatment and therapy for this condition. Thanks!

  • Kayla Myers

    Can you go into depth about all of the different points?

  • Sheila Oliver

    I can't gay VT class twice and I helped me a little bit but I didn't quite understand it and willing to learn again I'm struggling West family and friends right now I was wondering if you can do something on relationships I have struggles with my boyfriend cuz I have borderline personality disorder and other things but we won't go into that tell us if you have any questions please contact me

  • A Pinch Of Stardust

    is the widget still available? Cant seem to find it on the website


    You have a lot of unnecessary comments wasting time to explain

  • Lilli Kalani

    How do I find a DBT program near me?

  • DIMA T

    Thanks for Amara.org for translating 🌹

  • Terry Spry

    Hi kati,
    How about someone having a condition that precludes them from strategies such as ACCEPTS?

  • Janay Matthews

    I know that DBT is supposed to help people with borderline personality disorder with bipolar but does it help those with complex- PTSD too?

  • VeeKee

    You're worth it

  • sarah seaman

    Im currently in dbt best thing i ever did . I love it and my group

  • Rolling Thunder

    Where's the workbook?

  • Samantha Wilson

    Dbt and mindfulness.

  • Ana Carneiro

    You have helped a lot with your videos, thank you very much!

  • Debbey Lukas

    Please do more on the ACCEPT module!

  • Kota Mae

    Now, I was diagnosed with PDNOS.. but I'm somewhere in cluster B, I'm going to DBT therapy. Will it only work if I have BPD?

  • hypnometal

    I got referred to a DBT program, and the biggest thing that really upsets me about it is the fact that I have to see the program's therapist instead of the therapist I just started seeing, and what really bugs me about that is that I've been in "by the book" therapy off and on since I was 6, and when I started seeing this therapist, she actually seemed open minded enough to take me seriously when I said, "Hey, the by the book shit doesn't work – let's experiment with something else!" Now I feel like I'm taking a step backward and am going to wind up with, "Okay, now you're just going to have to do what we tell you" again, even though that didn't help me in the past.

  • pebs cove

    Is it anything to do with SCIENCETOLOGY Because you can SHOVE it up the arse

  • pebs cove


  • Edward Bruce

    I'm close to checking out.

  • Thia Maria

    I could not find the worksheets. Please help! Thabk you.

  • Raizel Dudovitz

    I go to DBT once a week for 45 minutes and then CBT once a week for 50 minutes but don’t go to group but my DBT therapist just had a baby so don’t know what I’m gonna do 😭😭😭😭

  • Sam S

    More PTSD/insecure attachment. Especially in dating for males and females. Way harder for guys, we have to pursue. Homework PLEASE.

  • Kimberly Broeske

    All topics related DBT related please

  • Jodi Brinks

    DBT don’t Wk for me

  • ruby

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting out these videos for all of us out here in need of a bit of assistance and don't really feel we can afford therapy. I am thinking that this bit of information is going to help me so much when I am feeling so overwhelmed and then I respond with such emotions of tears and heavy crying. I don't want to get to that point again in front of my adult children and friends. I am hoping this is going to be something that I can do to help me in the future. I would love to have the therapy because I know that I have to have some issues coming out of a home with a mother that had bipolar disorder and maybe she also had BPD. I am so sorry that I never learned for certain what my mother suffered from, but I am now 59 years old and I really know that the family of siblings is suffering and has been for years. It appears that I am the only one that has really been able to admit this and I removed myself from the family off and on all my life. I just knew that it wasn't healthy for me and it was also very painful to neglect my family at the same time. I struggled quietly all my life and now worry that I too, have passed this down to my own children that are all grown now and successful wonderful people. I often had so much pushed down pain and allowed abuse from my sibling for years on and off because I didn't allow myself to become fully aware of my part in the abuse by accepting it. I just tried to stay away with a constant pull at my heart of wanting to have a family and maybe it would be possible and then I would try again and end up with the same results. Not able to have a family. No contact now for good if I am strong enough to do it. So very sad to me, but I must work on myself and try to do better now for myself and my own family. Healing needs to take place. Thank you so much for being a positive face on the internet reaching out to so many of us. It is so appreciated.

  • Darkozl

    I guess as a Christian this wouldn't work for me then

  • Mary Clayton

    Was just diagnosed with BPD and will be starting DBT in the next 3-4 weeks. Thank you for explaining it so people can know what to expect 🙂

  • athalie genao


  • Angela O.

    I took a DBT class and I was so grateful for that chance,

  • Reena Booth

    What does DBT mean?

  • pniesandfenb

    I was seeing a therapist every tuesday morning last year and she had me to go DBT group therapy tuesday afternoons for two hours. Though, after watching this video, I'm not sure why she referred me. I don't believe I was putting her at withsend nor do I have BPD.

  • Kristin Zimmerman

    omg i love youuuuu thank you for explaining this!

  • Sara Khaled

    couldn't find the workbook, if anyone could send me a link

  • Devin De Leon

    I love your vibe ♥️

  • Kyky Penn

    Does it pertain to anxiety

  • Sarah Cary

    Great video! Why am I learning about this only now?! Need! Couldn't find the DBT Workbook on your website. Help?

  • Luca Vi

    Is DBT therapy also valid for covert NPD?

  • Lea zao

    what's a good intervention for oppositional defiant disorder.?


    I have a video on CBT too, but it's definitely different and more painful. ಠ ͜ʖ ಠ

  • Shawn Gross

    Thank you for the vid. Also, excellent "linkage" to CBT in the emotional regulation pillar of DBT. You seem to be a good instructor. I love doing group therapy as well as individual. My steps are to do about 3 to 4 weeks didactic, teaching the group members about the topic, lets say 'shame and guilt' as well as the therapeutic modality(s) we are all going to use. Then switch to a process type group where we utilize what we learned about the topic using the modality we also learned. It is during the process that I would incorporate individual sessions as well. I am only 13 years in recovery and 10 years working in this field. Is there a better way to go about the group process than the one that I exampled? Again, thank you for the information and the video.

  • Lakkireddy Pavan

    I love you

  • Beraud

    I feel like if I was in a dbt group, I’d just be judging non stop and then judging myself because I must be as messed up as the people I’m judging if I’m in that group. It would be a horrible viscous cycle.

  • Rhonda Marshall

    What is dialectical behavior therapy and how does it help borderline personality?

  • Kay P.

    Dbt helped me with bipolar disorder

  • James Madox

    When you give examples in a voice similar to a 5 year old it makes it hard to listen to/take seriously the point you're trying to make.

  • Georgia Power

    hi, i was just wondering what kind of therapist are you?

  • Emily Drew

    This is so awesome. 🙂 Thank you.

  • sportluver98

    I know this is an old video but I found out i have borderline and your video shave been really helpful. My therapist doesn’t even know how to treat borderline which is kinda disappointing and i mentioned this type of therapy to her and she said she would look into

  • Jordan North

    Very clear and informative thank you xx

  • Morgan Rhodes

    Kati your hair looks great here! Stop letting the hairstylist con you lol

  • Brittany Deck

    Does anyone know which book she is talking about? Her website updated and I just now found all this out.

  • DBT San Diego

    It's great to see that your videos have inspired and informed so many people. And your compassionate attitude helps reduce the stigma.

  • ChannalMath

    Love your work, Kati!
    I personally found both CBT and DBT to to completely ridiculous (and I worked with a highly respected, very expensive practitioner).
    Basically the idea is to help you see how your thoughts aren't really an accurate representation of reality. Well, DUH! I already know that when I feel like nobody cares about me, it's not exactly the truth. People have told me this for years; I didn't need somebody to prove it to me.

    It's just a systematic version of the well-meaning friend who says, "cheer up, you've got a great life!". If that worked, depression would not be the major societal issue it is.

    They claim that negative feelings are the result of irrational thoughts. I don't think that's always the case for me, and when it is, I know that my thoughts are exaggerated, but they still make me upset! I knew the theory going in, but somehow I thought there must be more to it. Nope, that was just hope borne of desperation.

  • Arie Nightmoon

    I can't get the link to the DBT workbook to work. Can anyone help?

  • Benjamin Harrell

    Can DBT be helpful for Bipolar 2 or is it just for BPD?

  • Some Entitlement issues

    Do you have anything to say about DBT therapy in recovery from addiction? Particularly early recovery

  • carrot eye

    Where can i find the workbook she talked about?

  • stv3800

    is the dbt workbook still available?

  • Maryella DeBoy

    Just hearing your calm voice makes me feel hopeful that one day I will have a long lasting relationship one day. It's all I want in this lifetime. Wish I could have heard you in my teens and twenties especially. Many suicide attempts. Mosty overdoses. The internal tsunami has been reduced to a tornado. I understand I need to pursue and complete this DBT. It makes sense. Those skills would really improve my life. Thank you for doing these videos.

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