To learn more about the New Canaan Urgent Assessment Program, visit its webpage.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program at Silver Hill Hospital is a four-week residential program designed to give patients with personality and mood disorders the skills necessary to regulate emotions, control self-destructive behavior, and improve interpersonal relationships.

Program Overview

With extensive individual and group sessions, patients at River House learn DBT skills from Silver Hill Hospital’s highly trained and compassionate staff. DBT, or dialectical behavioral therapy, is an evidence-based psychotherapy with an educational component designed to teach and build skills for managing intense emotions and navigating social relationships. DBT helps find a balance between acceptance and change.

DBT gives those who feel intense negative emotions when stressed the tools to make positive behavioral changes.

The four core modules of DBT are: 

Mindfulness – the practice of living in the present moment and being fully aware of the situation at hand. It is the foundation of DBT. This skill teaches you to observe your thoughts and feelings while realizing you have a choice in how to respond. 

Emotion Regulation – learning how to control your emotions and become less reactive to people and situations more effectively. This skill focuses on how to recognize and label your feelings, and then how to let them go so the emotion doesn’t take control and interfere with your rational thought process. 

Interpersonal Effectiveness –teaches you how to maintain relationships, while meeting personal needs and preserving self-respect. It helps you approach a situation objectively rather than emotionally. 

Distress Tolerance –an “acceptance strategy” to help you find healthy ways to tolerate intense emotions without trying to change them or engage in problematic behaviors.

Who We Serve

The DBT program is intended for adults 18 and older living with personality or mood disorders, such as major depression, and bipolar disorder, with symptoms such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal ideation, emotional dysregulation, and those struggling with distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.

The DBT program is also ideal for patients with a history of trauma who have a negative view of the world and lack emotional regulation. The Triumph at Silver Hill Hospital program is designed for patients with more severe PTSD and trauma.

Silver Hill’s separate DBT-S program is for patients with a substance use disorder or substance use disorder with co-occurring mental illness. More information may be found here.

Many patients enter the DBT Program following an inpatient stay at Silver Hill and are ready to learn skills that can be utilized for the rest of their lives.

What to Expect

The DBT Program is a four-week program that focuses on one aspect of DBT each week. (See above for the four modules of DBT.) Patients may choose to stay longer than four weeks. A day in the program will include individual and group DBT sessions with DBT homework to complete at night. There is also time each day for meals, recreation, and social activities.

Each patient sees a psychiatrist at least once a week, their individual therapist at least twice a week and has group sessions daily. After two weeks, family members are encouraged to become involved to discuss progress and an aftercare plan.

The DBT program resides at River House, a classic tutor-style home with a contemporary feel, is an ideal location for recovery with recently renovated bedrooms and other living areas, a fireplace for gathering or relaxing, and an expansive deck overlooking a tranquil pond. Some programming takes place within the residence, while meals and other programming are conducted in other locations on campus. All patients also have access to Silver Hill Hospital wellness facilities and offerings, including a gym, pool, massage therapy, meditation, and more.

A typical weekday schedule for River House residents includes a mix of: DBT skills classes, DBT group

 sessions, DBT homework, individual therapy, morning meetings with goal planning, special interest group sessions, pet therapy, art therapy, and gym and recreation hours.

Residential counselors trained in DBT are located within River House 24/7, lead and participate in program activities, and are available 24/7 for support and needs.

My experience was absolutely amazing. Between the staff and the other patients, everyone was very helpful in my recovery.
DBT Program Patient

The Team

Our specialized, DBT-trained team staff includes psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and counselors.

Contact Us

To learn more about this program, refer a patient for admission, or find out if it is right for you or a loved one, please contact Destiny Sammut, Senior Admissions Counselor, at (203) 801-3126 or Silver Hill Hospital general admissions at 1 (866) 542-4455 or fill out a contact form here.

Let’s get started.

Allow us to help you get better. Contact us today to find out which program might be right for you, or to begin the process of arranging for treatment.

Call us at
1 (866) 542 4455

– OR – Contact Us