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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based model of therapy that helps people learn and use new skills and strategies to build lives they feel are worth living. At Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc., we have intensively trained clinicians specializing in providing Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) to individuals in both a skills group training program and one-on-one therapy (if applicable).


DBT is useful for the individual who feels:

  • their emotions are out of control

  • like harming themselves in any way

  • relationships never seem to work out

  • they make impulsive decisions


DBT was originally developed for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) but it can help with other mental health issues including suicidal behavior, self-harm, substance use, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and eating disorders.


If you are in the Halifax, NS area, and are looking for DBT,

contact Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc. for more information.

We have a team of clinicians who have been intensively trained to meet your needs.

DBT Program

What to Expect

Comprehensive DBT, which is well researched, is an effective and intensive form of therapy that involves weekly therapy sessions, attendance in a weekly skills training group, and telephone coaching. In addition to these components, comprehensive DBT requires that 3 or more clinicians meet on a weekly basis to provide each other feedback and support, ensuring that clients are receiving the best quality care. Fidelity to the comprehensive DBT model has been shown to predict successful outcomes for clients.


Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc. offered the first comprehensive DBT program in private practice for individuals in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Comprehensive DBT programs require a one year commitment. Shorter programs, sometimes called 'DBT-informed' programs, use some methods or structures of DBT and can be very helpful for certain people. Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc. offers you the flexibility to engage in DBT-informed therapy if you are unable to commit to the full program. The way in which you engage in treatment will depend upon your needs. We will help you figure out what kind of program is best suited for you. However, we do recommend that clients seeking DBT engage in weekly skills groups at a minimum.


 At Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc., our mission is to provide clients comprehensive DBT with high fidelity to the DBT model to maximize benefits to our clients. We have a large intensively trained team of DBT experts, who provide your individual clinician and group facilitators input and support in their work with you. As a DBT client of Lesley Hartman & Associates Inc., you can feel confident that you are being well supported by a whole team of experts.


Support Group
Support Groups

DBT skills training group is facilitated by two trained facilitators in a group format similar to a class. Structure and encouragement are provided for people to practice skills between sessions.

The group usually meets once per week for 2 hours. It takes 23 weeks to get through the full skills curriculum, which is often repeated to create a one-year program. In the program, four skills are taught:


  • Mindfulness: the practice of being in the present and acknowledging thoughts, feelings and behaviours as they happen, without trying to control them

  • Distress Tolerance: the process of learning how to cope during a crisis, especially when it is impossible to change, and accepting a situation as it is, rather than how it should be

  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: the ability to ask for what a person needs and to say no when necessary, while still maintaining self-respect and relationships with others

  • Emotion Regulation: the ability to manage emotions so that they do not control thoughts and behaviours.

Individual Therapy focuses on enhancing motivation and helping people apply the skills to specific challenges and events in their lives. These sessions provide opportunities for the person and the therapist to come together and discuss their individual goals.

Woman on Phone

Telephone coaching uses telephone coaching and other real-life (“in vivo”) coaching to provide in-the-moment support. The therapist will coach a person through a stressful event and encourage them to use their DBT skills. The goal is to ensure that skills are generalized and applied to a person's day-to-day life.

DBT Resources


What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)?

Health info on Mental Illness & Addiction and DBT

DBT, What is it?




Building a Life Worth Living: A Memoir by Marsha M. Linehan, Jan. 7, 2020

find it on amazon

Contact Us

Would you like to see a therapist?

Please click here to be directed to our self-referral form. Submit this form to have your information sent to our team of intake professionals, who will contact you to briefly discuss your referral and possible appointment times.

Not ready to see a therapist, but have questions?

Please feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or fill in the form below, and we will get back to you shortly.

PHONE NUMBER:  (902) 431-1721


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DBT Resources
DBT Program
What is DBT
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