DBT Frequently Asked Questions and Responses . . .
"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
- Henry David Thoreau
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
DBT was originally designed decades ago specifically for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. However, today it is used for people with a variety of issues. Essentially it is designed for people who:
Engage in behaviors they later regret
Have challenges with their thoughts and emotions getting on a runaway train
And, in general, have difficulty modulating emotions
What does the therapy entail?
Our program is delivered in accordance with how DBT was originally researched. Clients participate in a 1.5-2 hour skills training group once a week as well as individual therapy once a week and phone coaching as needed. Our clients must participate in both the group and individual components of our program. In other words, we won’t do JUST individual DBT or JUST group DBT.
How long does the program take?
In general, the primary DBT program takes approximately 6-8 months to fully complete. There are times when clients will choose to repeat the program or repeat certain modules.
What are the days and times of the DBT skills groups?
We do our program in phases. All new people begin together in phase one. We start a new phase one on the first Tuesday of each month at 5pm. Typically phase one goes for 4 weeks or the full month.
Upon successful completion of phase one, we move you to phase 2 which meets on Thursdays where the other 3 modules are learned. We have 2 group time options for Thursdays: 10am or 5pm.
Groups last anywhere from 1.5 hours -2 hours.
What if I miss a group or have absences?
DBT has very rigid attendance requirements. This is how the program was researched so we follow the attendance guidelines very closely.
In phase one, you cannot miss 2 groups. If you do, we ask that you start it over again.
In phase 2, if you miss more than 2 groups on one module, we will ask you to sit out until the next module starts.
What do we do in group?
DBT groups tend to be very structured. Typically, we will start with a check in on a few things from the week before, maybe a review of material. Next, we review homework for the previous week (yes, DBT has homework and it is required, not optional). Next, new material is presented and we may have a group activity or in depth discussion about the skills and material. Homework for the next week is reviewed and assigned.
Is DBT covered under insurance?
Yes, our agency is covered under several insurances. We currently work with BC/BS (note: in the coming months we will be discontinuing taking BC/BS for group), United Health, Cigna, MHN, Mines and Associates and Magellan Health Care. We are also a provider under AHCCCS if you are already enrolled someplace in the mental health system.
We are not providers under: Tricare, Humana, Aetna, Biodyne and any others not listed above.
For clients whose insurances we don’t take, we can provide a Superbill for you to turn into your insurance company for reimbursement if you have out of network benefits
We conduct a thorough benefit check for all clients prior to their intake so that they are fully informed of all out of pocket costs involved in the program. We like to make sure that financial restrictions are not going to be a barrier to completing the program. We will thoroughly review the benefit check with you and what your out of pocket costs will be prior to enrolling in the program.
What if I don’t have insurance, what are your fees?
All our fees are listed on our website. Essentially, our group fees are $30 per group session and our individual sessions are $80 per hour.
We do require all our clients to have a credit/debit card on file so that we can have a mechanism for payment collection if we are unable to collect it at the time of service.
How do I get started?
The first step is for us to do a benefit check on your insurance. We will need to gather your insurance information from your insurance card. We will do the benefit check and someone will get back with you to review that.
If you are not using insurance and the fees are acceptable for you, we can just move forward with scheduling you for an intake with one of the counselors.
Do you take AHCCCS?
Yes, however, there are some hoops we have to jump through first…are you currently enrolled anywhere for mental health services?
If yes: We will need a referral from the agency that is considered to be your “intake agency.”
If no: First we have to have get you enrolled into the mental health system through another agency. The agency we work with closely is JFCS (Jewish Family and Children’s Services). When you call there, tell them you just want an intake for counseling, don’t say anything about DBT. When you are in your intake, tell the intake worker you would like to be referred to our agency for DBT. They will know exactly what to do. Once you’ve completed the intake, we can get you scheduled for intake with us and get you going with DBT.
Can adolescents join DBT?
We do have an adolescent DBT program. It may or may not be covered under insurance. We will need to speak to you further about that.
What if I have a therapist I’m already seeing, do I have to stop seeing that therapist?
If your therapist is trained in DBT and is willing to provide the functions that a DBT therapist typically provides such as phone coaching and DBT specific individual sessions, then yes, you may continue seeing that person. If your therapist is not trained in DBT, then we would require you to see a DBT therapist through our program. The frequency can be determined between you and that therapist.