Lighthouse Child & Family Services provides a comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Thearpy (DBT) program which is certified by the MN Department of Human Services. DBT was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, at the University of Washington, to treat chronically suicidal and self-injurious individuals. Not only was it found to be extremely successful, but it has evolved into an effective treatment for other related emotion regulation issues. DBT is one of the only therapies with demonstrated effectiveness for reducing suicidal behavior with chronically suicidal clients with Borderline Personality Disorder and multi-disordered clients. DBT has been shown to be effective in helping reduce suicide attempts, self-injuring behavior, substance abuse, bulimia, binge eating, and depression in the elderly.

The DBT program helps adults (ages 18 and up) who have problems with the following:

  • Suicidal behaviors
  • Intentional self-injury
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • History of chaotic and intense relationships
  • Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Frequent psychiatric hospital visits
  • Multiple mental health disorders

The DBT program at Lighthouse is comprehensive and includes the following:

  • Individual DBT Therapy – Individual DBT Therapy focuses on increasing motivation to build a life worth living, by helping people use alternative skills. Individual therapy is provided once a week by intensively trained DBT therapists in our Milaca office.
  • Phone Coaching – Phone Coaching assists clients in implementing DBT skills into everyday life and crisis situations. Phone Coaching is provided by the individual therapist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Therapist Consultation – Clinical Consultation for DBT therapists is an essential part of the program.  It helps ensure DBT therapists provide effective treatment that adheres to the DBT model.
  • Group Skills Training – Skills Training is held once a week for 2.5 hours in Milaca. Please call our office for the current day and times of skills group. DBT incorporates four skill modules:
    • Core Mindfulness – Skills teach members to balance their emotional and reasonable minds thereby using their ‘Wise Minds’. Members also learn to focus more effectively on one thing at a time.
    • Distress Tolerance Skills – Consist of relaxation techniques and crisis survival strategies. These skills help clients to behave in a less impulsive and self-destructive manner.
    • Emotion Regulation Skills – Present a model for discussing and understanding emotions, as well as methods for decreasing negative and increasing positive emotions.
    • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills – Enable members to evaluate their priorities and function more effectively in their interpersonal interactions.

Before admittance into the program, an intake screening will be scheduled to ensure appropriateness for the program. DBT requires you see an individual therapist within our office, and attend skills group for at least one year. If you are interested in our DBT program please contact our Intake Specialist Rachel Darling via phone (320-983-8021) or email (  If you are a provider and are wanting to refer someone to our DBT program, call our office, email, or fill out the referral form located on our Forms page and fax it to (651) 342-8029.