At DBT Columbia, our mission is to provide comprehensive, evidence-based Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with compassion and precision. This program helps people who struggle with life-interfering intense moods and impulsive behaviors gain control of their lives.


At DBT Columbia, our vision is to provide high-quality DBT services throughout Missouri, assisting people in making effective life changes through a balance of acceptance and change.

Our team works with you to measure the effectiveness of helping you reach your short and long-term goals throughout treatment, using a curious and nonjudgmental atmosphere.

DBT is an evidence-based treatment that was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan to help people who may have experienced one or more of the following:

  • Live chaotic and painful lives
  • Frequent suicidal thoughts
  • Are anxious much of the time
  • Feel emptiness and pain
  • Feel out of control of their behavior
  • Hurt themselves deliberately
  • Feel depressed a lot
  • Multiple hospitalizations and failed treatment experiences

Through this multi-component treatment program, people learn skills to:

  • Stay in treatment
  • Reduce self-harming behaviors
  • Build a life worth living
  • Stay out of the hospital
  • Improve relationship skills
  • Decrease conflict
  • Improve family functioning
  • Reduce disordered substance use and eating behaviors

The Seven Core Assumptions

People are doing the best they can.

All people at any given time are doing the best we can under the circumstances.

People want to improve.

All people share a common characteristic: we want to improve our lives and be happy.

People need to do better, try harder, and be more motivated to change.

The fact that we are doing the best we can, and want to do even better, isn’t always enough to solve our problems.

People may not have caused all of our problems, but we have to solve them anyway.

We have to change the way respond to problems and sometimes alter our environment in order for our lives to change.

New behaviors must be learned in all relevant contexts.

We have to learn to practice new ways of behaving in all sorts of situations where the skills are needed, not just in therapy.

All behaviors (actions, thoughts, emotions) have a cause.

Even if we don’t know what the cause is, everything we do and experience has a cause or set of causes.

Figuring out and changing the cause of behavior works better than judging, shaming, or blaming.

Judging and blaming are easier, but if we actually want our lives to change, we have to alter the chain of events that cause problem actions, thoughts, and emotions to occur.