Mother-Infant Dialetical Behaviour Therapy

Talking therapy for mothers who experience very strong emotions.

Change unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving

Dialetical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive behaviour therapy that helps people change unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving while also accepting who they are.

It helps people to learn to manage emotions by letting them recognise, experience and accept them. It can also help people to understand why they might harm themselves, which may help them to change this harmful behaviour.

DBT is usually used to help people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. People with this disorder feel intense, uncontrollable emotions, have troubles relationships and have a disturbed sense of self.

Mother-Infant DBT group program

The Mother-Infant DBT (MI-DBT) group program is a form of DBT that incorporates all of the skills taught in traditional DBT, while specifically focussing on how to apply these to the unique relationships that mothers have with their infants, as well as the unique emotional challenges that such a relationship involves. It also teaches mothers how to support the infant in developing their ability to manage emotions and relationship effectively.

Skills taught in DBT

DBT teaches four important skills to help reduce the size of these waves of emotion and to help people to manage when these emotions become overwhelming.


Mindfulness helps people to become more focused on the present moment, rather than focusing on painful experiences from the past or frightening worries about the future. Mindfulness also gives people tools to overcome habitual negative judgements about themselves and others and to develop a sense of their values and of how they want to be in the world.

Distress Tolerance

Distress Tolerance helps people to cope better with painful feelings and events by teaching them new ways of dealing with big emotions more healthily.

Emotion Regulation

Emotion Regulation helps people to understand their feelings better, to have more control over their emotions, and to change problematic emotions. It also helps people to learn how to be less vulnerable to experiencing negative emotions.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal Effectiveness helps people to develop skills in expressing their beliefs and needs, setting limits and negotiating solutions to problems, while at the same time protecting their relationships, treating others with respect, and feeling good about themselves.

How to access the program

To be eligible for Links to Wellbeing, you need to live in the Central or Southern Adelaide, be 16 or over.

You can access support with or without a referral from a General Practitioner.

Experienced mental health clinicians

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