Virtuous Circle Counselling


DBT Therapy Calgary

Is DBT Therapy for you? Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Calgary for Mental Health Support

DBT Therapy Calgary is a specific licensed type of cognitive behavioral therapy and as such, is mainly practiced by people with clinical training in counselling and psychology. DBT was developed for patients suffering from Mental Health Support and other forms of severe mental disorders, however it is now used to treat a variety of other psychological issues, all of them revolving around extreme moods and behaviours.

DBT therapy was developed by Marsha Linehan, a Professor of Psychology and an adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington, and is used the world over to treat suicidal behaviors, self-harming and to manage mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Dialectical behaviour therapy was designed as an alternative to mental health medications. The founders of this treatment were wary of using medications and believed that DBT would give people with emotional issues tools they can use to help themselves from behaving in a way that causes them harm.

● DBT Is Designed So That You Build Your Self-Esteem (Step 1)
The first stage in dialectical behaviour therapy is designed to build self-esteem. If a person has no self-confidence or self-respect, it will affect their mental health and how they relate to others.

● DBT Teaches People How To Live In The Moment (Step 2)
Where can you find the most emotional control? In the past, or in the future but not in the present moment. Where is your best behavior learned and internalized? Right here: in the moment. DBT teaches clients how to live in the current moment, and how to gain control of their emotions in that moment.

● DBT Trains People To “Catch” Themselves When Their Emotions Are Too High (Step 3)
Regulating your emotions is key in reducing the frequency and intensity of emotional outbursts. Dialectical behaviour therapy teaches people to “catch themselves” or pause before reacting emotionally in an unhelpful way.

● DBT Teaches People To Accept Their Feelings Without Judgement (Step 4)
One of the main principles of dialectical behavior therapy is radical acceptance. In other words, it involves accepting whatever situation you find yourself in without judging yourself or others for your feelings or actions. DBT teaches that by judging yourself when you fail to achieve your goals, you will go on to make the same mistakes over and over again. However, by accepting what is happening at the moment and learning from it, you can change your behaviour so you are not doing the same thing next time. The focus is not on avoiding pain but dealing with how we feel about events and changing our patterns of behavior.

● DBT Teaches People To Problem Solve (Step 5)
Step five of the DBT skill module teaches people to address a problem and find solutions. The method used for this is called the DBT problem-solving format. The DBT “problem solving” format is categorized as a distress tolerance skill that is also taught in most types of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This means that it has to be used on a regular basis in order to retrain an individual’s brain.

Life Gets Chaotic. DBT Therapy Teaches You Strategies To Help Manage Those Emotions

These skills help to reduce overwhelming emotional responses, which are called “emotional triggers” or “cognitive triggers”. Dialectical behaviour therapy in Calgary is based on the theory that our emotions are more like weather than an on/off switch. They come and go in a wave-like pattern. In DBT, clients learn to ride these waves by not reacting and sinking with them.

DBT Can Help You Improve Your Mental Health And Learn New Skills For Coping With Anxiety And Stress.

Mindfulness Is An Important Aspect Of DBT Therapy Success

Mindfulness is an important aspect of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. It is referred to as a “core” skill, meaning it should be strengthened at every therapy session and practiced throughout the week. Mindfulness and acceptance are two cornerstones of DBT. Some people think that mindfulness is simply paying attention to your surroundings while trying not to engage in judgment or evaluation. However, there is more to it. Like most skills in DBT, mindfulness involves observing, describing,  and participating.

Pay Attention To Your Thoughts And Learn To Define Them

Thoughts and feelings: these things determine our moods and actions, our lives in such a way that they are impossible to ignore. It is the thoughts and feelings of the individual that make up personality. Whether you trust your abilities or not, whether you believe in yourself or not – it is what makes you, you. Thoughts can be positive ones or negative ones. These may help shape your character but they can also help build your strengths. Whether they are positive or negative, thoughts will sometimes change over time but nevertheless are always present in the background of our mind.

Your thoughts are very important and can affect your emotions and mood. If you have bad thoughts it can be hard to feel good. However, if you can control your thoughts and define them you will feel better. Learning to control and define your thoughts is a key skill learned by clients during dialectical behaviour therapy sessions in our Calgary counselling office or  our DBT Therapy Skills Groups.


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy has proven especially effective in reducing self-injurious behaviour, suicide attempts and inpatient treatment days. The long-term effects of the therapy have yet to be evaluated but many of the studies found that up to 51% of persons treated with DBT are considered “much improved” or “very much improved” after treatment.

DBT accepts the intense, often extreme emotional responses and behavior of people who have mental disorders. Instead of trying to make things easier for the individual with a mental disorder, it is designed to help people accept their extreme emotions as a part of life that they have to live with and build strategies for dealing with those difficult feelings.

DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that focuses on the middle ground between traditional cognitive behavioral therapy and other approaches. It generally focuses on the concept of dialectics, which means it aims to look at things from opposite perspectives, even extremes. It was developed in the 1970s by Marsha Linehan and is used to treat people who have problems with emotions and behaviors. The goal is to help people find a happy medium or balance while recognizing that everyone has flaws

Book Your Appointment Online

We are currently accepting new clients however being a good fit is everything in a therapeutic alliance. When you’re ready, please contact us for a free 30-minute phone consultation to see if we match your needs and goals.

We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.