BetterHelp DBT: Everything You Need To Know [2024]

Written By

Emily Thompson


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BetterHelp DBT refers to dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) services offered through BetterHelp’s online therapy platform.

BetterHelp users can connect with licensed therapists trained in DBT techniques to help manage difficult emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, and build healthy coping skills.

How does BetterHelp DBT work? DBT therapists provide individual and group sessions via text, voice, or video chat. The focus is on teaching and practicing the four key modules of DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Therapists help clients apply these skills to address current life challenges.

What are the benefits of BetterHelp DBT?

Some key advantages of DBT therapy used by BetterHelp therapists include:

  • Effectiveness – Provides research-backed DBT treatment remotely
  • Convenience – Sessions available anytime via app or desktop without traveling to an office
  • Affordability – Plans often cost much less than traditional in-person DBT
  • Accessibility – Clients can connect with DBT therapists across the world

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Is BetterHelp DBT right for me?

DBT therapy on BetterHelp can be a great option if you are struggling with borderline personality disorder, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or emotion regulation challenges.

It’s also helpful if you want to improve relationships through interpersonal effectiveness skills. BetterHelp matches you with an experienced DBT therapist trained to meet your needs.

What is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that focuses specifically on teaching clients skills for coping with distress, regulating emotions, and improving relationships with others.

It was originally developed in the 1980s by psychologist Marsha Linehan to help address chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

However, DBT has since been shown to be effective for a wide range of other mental health conditions.

Some of the core characteristics of DBT include:

  • A focus on changing behavioral patterns and developing coping skills
  • An emphasis on balancing acceptance and change (the “dialectical” part)
  • Individual therapy to address current issues and improve motivation
  • Skills training groups teaching DBT modules
  • Coaching between sessions for skill generalization
  • A collaborative approach between patient and provider

DBT concentrates on four key skill modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Patients learn how to apply these abilities to problematic areas that cause distress, instability, and dysregulation in their daily lives.

Research shows DBT can improve suicidal thinking, BPD symptoms, treatment retention, quality of life, and more.

What are the Four Modules of DBT?

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DBT includes four main sets of behavioral skills that clients learn and practice. These include:


The mindfulness module focuses on techniques for increasing present-moment awareness and attention. Skills include:

  • Observing – Noticing experiences using the five senses
  • Describing – Putting words to observations nonjudgmentally
  • Participating – Throwing oneself into activities fully
  • Nonjudgmental stance – Being open and allowing without criticism
  • Focusing on one thing – Keeping concentration steadfastly on one activity
  • Effectiveness – Applying skills wisely and in a workable manner

Practicing mindfulness helps clients gain more control over their minds, manage painful emotions, and make wise choices aligned with their goals.

Distress Tolerance

Distress tolerance teaches crisis survival skills for getting through difficult situations without making them worse. Specific techniques include:

  • Distraction – Shifting attention away from distress
  • Self-soothing – Using positive sensations to calm the senses
  • Improving the moment – Finding small ways to make NOW better
  • Considering pros and cons – Evaluating all sides of the situation
  • Radical acceptance – Embracing rather than fighting reality
  • Willingness – Cultivating willingness to tolerate pain

These skills help clients endure painful events, emotions, or urges without reacting in harmful ways.

Emotion Regulation

Emotion regulation focuses on understanding emotions and changing them appropriately. Important abilities include:

  • Identifying and naming emotions – Correctly labeling feelings
  • Checking the facts – Examining evidence for emotional reactions
  • Opposite action – Doing the opposite of urges driven by emotion
  • Problem-solving – Generating solutions and applying them
  • Accumulating positives – Increasing pleasant events
  • Building mastery – Gaining capability step-by-step
  • Taking care of one’s body – Attending to basic health and needs

Learning these skills helps individuals manage emotions, reduce mood swings, alleviate depression, and change unwanted emotional responses.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness teaches assertiveness and social skills for navigating relationships successfully. Key principles include:

  • Objective effectiveness – Achieving goals in interactions
  • Relationship effectiveness – Maintaining connections and self-respect
  • Self-respect effectiveness – Standing up for one’s values appropriately
  • Truthfulness – Balancing openness with discretion
  • Verbal and nonverbal skills – Communicating clearly and confidently
  • Interpersonal problem-solving – Generating options to achieve objectives

Applying these social techniques helps clients deepen relationships, set boundaries, and get their needs met by others.

How Does BetterHelp DBT Work?

BetterHelp offers convenient access to licensed and experienced therapists trained in delivering professional DBT therapy online.

Treatment consists of engaging in individual therapy sessions, DBT skills training groups, and coaching between sessions to reinforce learning.

Individual Therapy Sessions

During weekly individual therapy sessions, BetterHelp DBT therapists help you apply DBT techniques to specific challenges in your daily life.

You’ll explore your current struggles and motivations, set targeted behavioral goals, troubleshoot problems implementing skills, and monitor your progress.

These personalized sessions give you a chance to use DBT to improve the emotional and relationship problems impacting you most.

DBT Skills Training Groups

In addition to individual therapy, you can join DBT skills training group classes through BetterHelp.

These sessions give you the opportunity to learn directly from a DBT therapist how to apply the four skill modules above.

You’ll gain hands-on practice using new mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal techniques within a supportive group environment.

Coaching Between Sessions

To boost progress, DBT therapists on BetterHelp also provide support via messaging between weekly individual and group sessions.

  • You can access this support through messaging within the app.
  • You can message your counselor anytime.
  • Your therapist will respond based on their availability and give tips for implementing DBT skills into stressful real-world situations as they arise.
  • This helps you generalize what you’re learning to make positive changes.

Online Delivery

BetterHelp uses a user-friendly and reliable online platform to deliver DBT remotely. You can conveniently access sessions, coaching, and resources using your desktop or through the BetterHelp app.

This allows you to engage in effective DBT treatment from the comfort of home on your own schedule.

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Fill out a brief questionnaire and get matched with an experienced therapist online in as little as 48 hours.

✓ Over 35K licensed professionals

✓ Financial aid available

✓ Subscriptions as low as $65/week, billed every four weeks

✓ Cancel plan or change therapist anytime

20% off your first month through Therapy Helpers

What are the Benefits of BetterHelp DBT?

Choosing BetterHelp for DBT therapy offers many advantages:


With BetterHelp, you don’t have to coordinate transportation and commute to a clinic multiple times per week. There’s no need to take time off work or make childcare arrangements. You can conveniently log into therapy from your home on a flexible schedule.


BetterHelp DBT costs much less than traditional in-person DBT treatment. Monthly plans cost $65-$100 per week (billed every four weeks).

  • A financial aid option is provided during the signup process.
  • The platform accepts HSA and FSA benefits accounts as well.


BetterHelp grants access to licensed DBT therapists across the world. You can find a practitioner knowledgeable in DBT and a good fit regardless of your location. It expands your options beyond what may be available nearby.


The discrete nature of online therapy with BetterHelp makes DBT more approachable for some.


Research shows online DBT can be just as effective as in-person treatment. BetterHelp provides the core components of standard DBT, such as individual and group sessions, skill training, and between-session coaching needed to make progress.

  • In a 2014 study, after one year of DBT therapy, 77% of patients with borderline personality disorder no longer met the criteria for diagnosis.
  • Multiple randomized controlled trials and controlled trials have found that DBT effectively reduces suicidal behavior, self-harm, symptoms, and hospitalizations in people with borderline personality disorder compared to other treatments.


With BetterHelp, you can reschedule sessions easily as needed to accommodate your changing routine. You also have the flexibility to take a break from therapy or switch practitioners if you desire a better fit.

DBT BetterHelp: Is it right for me?

BetterHelp’s online DBT treatment may be a great option if:

  • You’ve struggled with chronic suicidality or self-harm. DBT was originally developed to treat these issues.
  • You have borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT is the gold standard therapy for improving BPD symptoms.
  • You have trouble regulating your emotions. DBT teaches skills to better manage anger, anxiety, sadness, etc.
  • You struggle to handle distress or crises. DBT provides tools to endure challenges wisely.
  • Your relationships are unstable or stressful. DBT improves interpersonal skills for navigating conflict.
  • You have an eating disorder, depression, or other condition causing emotional dysregulation.
  • You feel like your emotions or relationships are out of control or spiraling.
  • You’ve had difficulty finding an affordable DBT program that works with your schedule.
  • You tried DBT before but had trouble accessing continued care.

The compassionate licensed therapists on BetterHelp are experienced in delivering DBT in an online format. They can help you gain life-changing skills to live better regardless of your diagnosis. By making DBT more convenient and accessible, BetterHelp empowers you to take control of your mental health.


BetterHelp offers a way to get comprehensive dialectical behavior therapy online through convenient video, phone, and text-based sessions. By connecting you with knowledgeable DBT therapists, BetterHelp can help you learn mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal skills from home to create the life you want.

If uncontrolled emotions or self-destructive behaviors have held you back, consider signing up for BetterHelp therapy today to get the expert support you deserve.


How to find DBT therapist on BetterHelp?

When signing up for BetterHelp, you can specify that you are seeking a therapist trained in DBT under preferences for your counselor. On the signup form, choose DBT as the type of therapy you are interested in. BetterHelp will then match you with a licensed therapist who has experience delivering DBT techniques through online counseling. You can also search for and select a DBT-trained therapist directly based on their profile and credentials.

Does Betterhelp offer DBT?

Yes, BetterHelp provides online access to licensed therapists trained in delivering dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Users can engage in weekly individual DBT sessions, join DBT skills training groups, and receive between-session coaching on the platform.

Can Betterhelp diagnose?

No, BetterHelp therapists cannot provide any official medical or mental health diagnoses. The BetterHelp platform is designed for online counseling, therapy, and support – not diagnostic assessments.

Why DBT doesn’t work?

DBT is generally an effective therapy, but there are some reasons it may not work for everyone:

  • Lack of motivation or readiness for change. DBT requires dedication to learning and applying new skills.
  • Inconsistent application of DBT techniques learned in sessions. Real improvement requires consistent practice outside of therapy.
  • Lack of access to all DBT treatment components. DBT is most effective when it includes both group skills training and individual therapy.
  • DBT is not right for everyone. Other approaches like CBT or ACT may fit some people better.
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About the author

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

Hello there! I'm Emily Thompson, a proud Londoner and writer with a fervor for breaking down the complexities of therapy in this modern, digital era. My roots are in London, right in its bustling heart, and it was here at King's College London that I earned my degree in journalism. It was during those transformative years at university that my curiosity for mental health was ignited, propelling me to further study and earn a Masters in Clinical Psychology. I have a unique ability to simplify intricate therapy notions into easily understandable and relatable content, essentially bridging the chasm between the clinical environment and everyday folks like you and me.Social

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