Santa Monica DBT Therapist ~ Dialectical Behavior Therapy Santa Monica

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DBT - Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Emotions can be hard to understand and even scary at times. When our emotional reactions are extreme it is usually because we have experienced trauma. Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT is a type of treatment that specifically targets emotional volatility and trauma symptoms.

Our unresolved can trauma cause us to react in extreme ways, especially toward friends, family, and romantic partners. Unresolved trauma causes our arousal levels to increase far more quickly than the average person’s and take a significant amount of time to return to baseline arousal levels.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral approach that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment and can help teach specific skills and provide tasks to cope with sudden, intense surges of emotion. Originally, it was developed to better treat Borderline Personality Disorder. Since its development, it has also been used for the treatment of other kinds of mental health disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Elissa Stifter, LPCC Speaks About DBT

Therapy Specializations

DBT Treatment

Some components of DBT treatment are:

Support-oriented DBT: This helps you identify your strengths and builds on them so that you begin to feel more confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth
Cognitive-based DBT: This helps you identify thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life harder and helps you identify and learn different ways of thinking that will make life easier to manage and navigate.
Collaborative DBT: This type of DBT examines the relationships between you and your therapist. As you explore your relationship with your therapist you can begin to develop new ways of dealing with relationships and coping with conflicts. Through this type of DBT you are are encouraged to complete homework assignments, to role-play new ways of interacting with others, and to practice skills self-soothing skills when you are upset. The skill set focus is on interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance and reality acceptance, emotion regulation, and mindfulness. The individual therapist helps the person to learn, apply and master the DBT skills.

DBT has empirical evidence to support its efficacy in helping people overcome trauma, PTSD, and Borderline Personality Disorder.

How I Work

My focus in treatment is to help you uncover the patterns that keep you stuck and to promote change, self-awareness, and personal growth. My goal is to create a nonjudgmental and validating environment that fosters self-worth and empowerment. I believe in creating a safe and nurturing space in which to discuss life’s challenges and uncover what's holding you back. My approach is warm and collaborative and I am committed to guiding you to become the best version of yourself.

I have experience working with a variety of challenges including:
low self-esteem, anxiety, mood disorders, and problems with relationships and intimacy. I use a blend of many evidenced-based practices to guide you toward emotional health and wellbeing.

I look forward to helping you or someone you love and I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Call me now at 619-993-8465

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