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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

North Wales Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)


What is DBT?


DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.  It is a particular kind of therapy aimed to help people who may experience some of the following problems.



Sometimes, as a result of these experiences, people turn to unhelpful ways to manage such as self-harm, overdosing, drinking lots of alcohol, engaging in risky behaviours etc.  If you are doing any of these things your CAMHS worker may suggest you engage in DBT.


DBT therapists will work with you to understand what the triggers are for your difficult emotions and what is getting in the way of managing them so far.  The DBT team will help you to learn new skills to manage your emotions better without you using behaviours that cause you harm.  All young people in DBT are expected to attend regular individual therapy sessions and a weekly skills teaching group.  Although many people find the idea of a group daunting nearly all young people get used to it very quickly and even enjoy it.


Here are some things young people have said about DBT:


“Everyone is really friendly and understanding towards each other because we all have the same kind of issues”


“I thought what we were taught was amazing and helpful”


“The skills have definitely helped with my relationships and the way I think about things”


“Mum says I’ve changed, that I’m more chilled”


“I have noticed that I use the skills a lot.  I do not lose my temper as much as I used to and I am able to use the skills to talk to friends and family when I am angry.  I can express my feelings now”


“The skills taught are useful – help me cope with the stressful situations I wasn’t previously able to deal with”


“I’d just like to say ‘Thanks’ for getting me involved – it really has helped me get through these rough times”


“Thanks dudes, totally awesome sauce”