A Cost Breakdown of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on March 16, 2023
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Worried about how much DBT costs?

Let’s take a look. 

The cost of DBT depends on many different factors and in this article we’ll be looking at a cost breakdown of DBT therapy.

We know how confusing insurance is, sliding scale, and various pricing options can be when you’re simply looking for someone to help you out through some confusing times.

But does DBT therapy break the bank? Let’s find out.

Is DBT costly?

The cost of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of therapy you receive, the DBT clinic or individual therapist, and your insurance coverage.

Generally speaking, DBT can be more expensive than other forms of treatment since you usually have to pay for the group component as well as the individual therapy.

If you are considering DBT, it is essential to discuss the costs with your certified DBT therapist and insurance provider before beginning treatment.

Additionally, some therapists offer sliding scale fees based on income or provide payment plans that can help make DBT more affordable for those who need it.

In summary, whether or not DBT is costly depends on a variety of factors specific to your situation. It is essential to discuss the cost of treatment with your therapist and insurance provider before beginning treatment to determine what will work best for you financially.

However, you should know that despite the upfront cost of DBT, numerous studies have shown that DBT decreases costs long-term.

The Cost of DBT in Individual Therapy

The cost of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in individual therapy can vary depending on your insurance coverage, the type of treatment you receive like a private practice, and the location of the provider.

Generally speaking, individual DBT therapy can be expensive, particularly for those without insurance coverage for mental health services. You may be able to find a therapist who offers sliding scale fees or payment plans.

It is important to note that DBT is a comprehensive treatment program that includes both individual therapy and group skills training.

As such, you will likely need to pay for both components to receive full benefits from the program. Additionally, some programs may require weekly individual sessions as part of their treatment protocol.

How Much Does DBT Cost?

  • DBT is effective in reducing self-harm and secondary mental health care costs associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • According to research published by the British Journal of Psychotherapy, a £36,000 saving was evident after post-treatment year in lowered in-patient and community nursing contacts.
  • A University of Washington study showed an average decrease of hospital costs (about $26,000) per client that outweighed the increase in outpatient services cost (about $6,500).
  • The estimated average cost of DBT treatment is $6,500.
  • Investing in DBT will result in positive outcomes for patients and lower costs for providers.

DBT In-Person Average Cost Breakdown

  • In general, in-person sessions range from $100-$250 per hour depending on the therapist’s level of experience and where they are located.
  • The average cost of an individual session for online therapy is around $150 per hour. Depending on the severity of your mental illness or emotional problems you’re experiencing, you may need anywhere from 4-20 sessions to get the full benefit of DBT treatment. This means that if you were to get 20 sessions, it would cost around $3,000 for treatment.At 4-8 sessions per month, this averages $600-$1200 for in-person therapy (without insurance, free, or sliding scale options).

How Many Hours A Week Is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of specialized cognitive behavioral therapy that helps individuals learn to manage their emotions and behaviors. It typically involves weekly individual therapy sessions, as well as group skills training classes.

The amount of time you spend in DBT will depend on your individual needs and goals.

Generally, you attend at least one hour of individual therapy and two hours of skills group training sessions each week, which means 3 hours per week for DBT.

How Many Sessions Of DBT Do I Need?

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) requires a commitment of a few hours per week for 6 months, though the length may vary depending on individual needs.
  • DBT consists of weekly individual therapy sessions lasting 40-60 minutes each, as well as group skills training, peer consultation team meetings and contact between sessions.
  • According to the Linehan Institute, the full DBT skills curriculum takes 24 weeks to complete.
  • Although it can require considerable time and effort, DBT can be worth it in the end.

Online Group DBT Resources

Here are some resources to find online group DBT:

  1. Grouport: https://www.grouporttherapy.com/what-we-treat/dbt
  2. Suffolk DBT (online): https://suffolkdbtjl.com/online-therapy/
  3. Psychology Today (change location to your local region): https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/groups/texas?category=dialectical-dbt

Best Health Insurance for DBT

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of many health insurance companies that provide coverage for DBT in NYC.
  • Many therapists also offer out-of-network services that may be covered by your insurance company.
  • Be aware that certain components of DBT treatment may not be covered by any health insurance, including skills training classes and phone coaching sessions.
  • It is important to speak with your therapist about fees and payment policies before beginning treatment.

Sliding Scale DBT Therapists in NYC

  • DBT is effective in reducing self-harm and secondary mental health care costs associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • According to research published by the British Journal of Psychotherapy, a £36,000 saving was evident after post-treatment year in lowered in-patient and community nursing contacts.
  • A University of Washington study showed an average decrease of hospital costs (about $26,000) per client that outweighed the increase in outpatient services cost (about $6,500).
  • The estimated average cost of DBT treatment is $6,500.
  • Investing in DBT will result in positive outcomes for patients and lower costs for providers.

How Long Does DBT Typically Last?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of therapy that helps individuals manage difficult emotions and behaviors.

The length of DBT treatment varies depending on the individual’s needs but typically lasts around 6 months.

During this time, clients will participate in weekly individual therapy sessions and a weekly skills training session.

Each session usually lasts between 45-60 minutes.

It is important to note that the duration of DBT can vary depending on each person’s unique symptoms and goals for treatment. It is best to consult with a mental health professional who specializes in DBT to determine an appropriate timeline for you.

How Much Does DBT Training Cost?

  • Seeking DBT training can cost between $2,000 and $2,500 for a 80-hour didactic course.
  • A six-month one-on-one consultation may be an additional $500.
  • Obtaining DBT training or consultation does not guarantee certification by the Linehan Board of Certification (LBC).
  • An annual fee of $95 is required to maintain certification status with the LBC.
  • It is important to research and understand all costs associated with DBT before beginning journey.

How Much Does DBT Cost Conclusion: 

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) cost can vary significantly, depending on where it is located and the type of services required.
  • Most estimates suggest hourly rates range from $100-$250 and a full course could cost between $1,200 -$5,000.
  • In total, DBT may cost around $6,500 on average.

You should also know DBT is the recommended treatment, and there are high-quality, affordable DBT therapy groups available online. Our favorite is Grouport Therapy. In our Grouport Therapy review, we noted the pros and cons of DBT, the costs of DBT, and DBT intensive care.

Our team invites you to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Let us know which mental health software products, apps, or courses that Online Mental Health Reviews should explore and review next.

Do some research into different plans available in your area and don’t forget that there may be free resources available too – good luck!

Sources

  1. Meuldijk, D., McCarthy, A., Bourke, M. E., & Grenyer, B. F. S. (2017, March 1). The value of psychological treatment for borderline personality disorder: Systematic review and cost offset analysis of economic evaluations. PLOS ONE, 12(3), e0171592. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0171592
  2. Amner, K. (2012, May 7). The Effect of DBT Provision in Reducing the Cost of Adults Displaying the Symptoms of BPD. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 28(3), 336–352. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1752-0118.2012.01286.x
  3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy | Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics. (n.d.). Dialectical Behavior Therapy | Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics. https://depts.washington.edu/uwbrtc/about-us/dialectical-behavior-therapy/
  4. D. (2018, April 3). How Long Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Take? | Delray Center. How Long Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Take? | Delray Center. https://www.delraycenter.com/how-long-does-dialectical-behavior-therapy-take/

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