A unique aspect of DBT is that you are encouraged to reach out to your therapist between individual psychotherapy sessions and group skills sessions. Many other therapeutic treatments do not allow for your therapist to communicate with you outside of sessions. However, we have seen impressive results from our clients having support available when they are in the real world.
How does phone coaching with my therapist work?
Every day, you can run into a situation, person, or place that can bring up painful emotions and urges for unhealthy behaviors. And if you were in a session with your therapist, you’d likely discuss why that was painful and how to manage those feelings, then apply skills. However, when you are in the real world without someone talking you through things, making decisions can happen instantaneously. This is what we are trying to stop in DBT treatment.
We want you to learn to be present in each moment and make conscious decisions about how to react when pain presents itself. So, this is where phone coaching comes in. When you encounter something that makes you want to turn to unhealthy behaviors, you call your therapist. The therapist may not be available at that exact moment. However, the therapist will return your call as promptly as possible and coach you through it. This lets you take a pause, think before acting, and make a conscious choice moving forward. Coaching calls are brief to get you living in your life.