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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 therapy that aims 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 the young person you care for is doing any of these things your CAMHS worker may suggest he/she engages in DBT. It is the therapy with the strongest evidence for helping people who self harm regularly


DBT therapists will work with your child to understand what the triggers are for their difficult emotions and what is getting in the way of managing them so far.  The DBT team will help them to learn new skills to manage their emotions better without using behaviours that cause them harm.  All young people in DBT are expected to attend regular individual therapy sessions and a weekly skills teaching group.  The group time is non-negotiable but it is very important that you help your child to attend as it is an essential part of the whole treatment package.  We know that DBT is only at its most helpful when a person attends both individual sessions and skills group.


Words from two parents:


“Thank you very much for the help you have given (name) and indeed, the whole family… you have enabled her to transcend her difficulties…she has improved steadily and the experience has given her great wisdom and strength… thank you and your team from the bottom of my heart for your help and commitment to us – and the speed with which you reacted”.  


“She is a different girl now, family who hadn’t seen her for a while couldn’t believe the difference… she is so much happier and more in control”.