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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Complex PTSD

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an evidenced-based treatment that helps clients improve their mindful awareness and acceptance of reality; identifying and processing what we can and cannot change is imperative for effectively navigating life’s challenges. 

DBT for Complex PTSD is a highly specialized version of standard DBT that conceptualizes emotion, mood, and behavioral dysregulation through a trauma and attachment lens, meaning it considers the context of past experiences on present responses. The initial focus is to build awareness of one’s responses to their earlier life experiences and their patterns of acting, thinking, and feeling that maintain and increase in distress and problems in life. These responses then become our treatment targets, which we will work through systematically and through learning and applying new skills relevant to your specific barriers to effective emotion regulation and processing.

EMDR is an evidenced-based treatment that is rooted in the idea that our past informs our present. We are often not consciously aware of, nor are we thinking about, how our past experiences inform our present responses to ourselves, others, and the world. EMDR therapists help clients make past-present connections to better understand the development of their current responses to problems in life. We then target the past experiences that shaped one’s symptoms and the present triggers for those responses. As an emotion-focused treatment, EMDR helps people safely explore, experience, and make sense of their emotions, thoughts, physical sensations, and urges in response to past, present, and anticipated experiences. EMDR is an effective treatment for people struggling in their relationships with themselves and/or others.


Please visit the EMDR International Associations’s website to learn more about the body’s natural healing system and how EMDR allows your neurological system to heal from past experiences that are affecting your present problems. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Contextually-Focused Dialectical Behavior Therapy

C-DBT is a contextual therapeutic approach from what is known as the third-wave of behaviorism. C-DBT was created by Paul Holmes, PsyD, and it is a combination of the processes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP) within the framework of DBT. C-DBT is a person-centered approach that focuses on process, function, and workability. 


In C-DBT we learn to accept that certain aspects of our experiences are out of our control (ie. our private experiences: thoughts, emotions, urges as well as others’ private experiences and behaviors) and that attempting to control them is a naturally enticing, yet futile and costly approach. Many of us get stuck in a cycle of avoiding and escaping painful emotions in ways that are effective in relieving short term emotional pain but that don’t align with our values and commitments. They do not move us toward our longer term goals, and this keeps us stuck in a cycle of chronic distress. 


Together we will examine the workability of your avoidance and escape behaviors and, when appropriate, make a commitment to learn and practice new, more effective ways to manage those problems that are in line with your values and get you closer to a fulfilling life-- whatever that may look like for you. This practice centers on first learning how to accept– have emotions, thoughts, urges, etc. without having to do something to change them (ERP with emotional experiencing). This freedom then allows us to respond in line with values and commitments. This work happens within the context of our relationship and outside of sessions in your day-to-day life.


C-DBT is an emerging treatment that has not yet gone through the research process needed to become an evidence-based treatment, even though its subcomponents of ACT, FAP, and DBT are all evidence-based treatments. C-DBT is in the process of developing empirical support for its efficacy. At this time, it fits within what the American Psychological Association defines as “the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preferences.”

We offer comprehensive C-DBT, which includes C-DBT individual therapy, C-DBT group therapy, phone coaching, and the therapist's participation on a weekly C-DBT consultation team. 

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