Adult DBT Referral Process

Joining the Adult DBT Program

Clients start the process of joining the Adult Trinitas DBT program by calling 908-994-7556 and stating that they are interested. Because DBT is a voluntary treatment, we require that the client themselves call as opposed to a family member, service provider or agencies.

Even if a team member does not answer the phone, leave your name and phone number, and let us know you are interested in being added to the wait list for DBT services.

You will receive a call back as soon as possible and be directed to a downloadable and printable information packet describing our program and asking for some basic information from you. (For individuals without computer access, we will gladly mail the packet to you). We ask that you return the packet as quickly as possible because although we contact interested clients in the order in which we receive calls, we do prioritize people who send back their information packets.

Screening Process
Once there is an opening for you in the Adult DBT Program, one of the DBT team members will call to set up a screening appointment.

The goals of the screening appointment are as follows:

  • To educate you more about the DBT program at Trinitas
  • To make an initial assessment of whether your goals match what the Adult DBT program can provide you
  • To make an initial assessment of your motivation to be in a comprehensive DBT program

During the screening, you will be asked about your symptoms, your life, what has brought you to DBT, your goals for treatment, and any obstacles that may get in the way of your being successful in DBT. We will also allow time for you to ask questions of us. We ask that you be as honest as possible with us about your history and struggles. We understand that individuals who come to DBT are suffering greatly and may have been excluded from other types of treatment because of their suicidal urges and self-harming behaviors. DBT was created to treat individuals with those types of urges and behaviors, and our clinicians are comfortable talking about and addressing these issues.

After the screening, the clinician will bring your information to the next DBT consultation team so that we can decide whether we believe it is a good fit, and to decide which clinician will be your individual therapist. You will then receive a call from either the screening clinician or your new therapist to set up your first pre-treatment appointment.

Before starting the DBT skills group, you will be asked to attend three pre-treatment sessions so that you and your therapist can do the following:

  • Get to know each other and agree to work together
  • Set up some goals for treatment
  • Orient you to the guidelines of the program
  • Educate you about skills group
  • Sign a commitment agreement to be in the program

After the third pre-treatment session and the signing of the commitment agreement, you will begin the comprehensive DBT program, which includes attending DBT skills group, phone coaching, and weekly individual DBT therapy sessions.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria for Adult DBT at Trinitas
(If you are unsure if you fit these criteria, please feel free to speak with a team member when you make the initial call.)

We have found that the following criteria make someone a good fit for the Adult DBT program:

  • A client wants to come
  • A client wants to work on "Building a Life Worth Living"
  • A client who is willing to make DBT a priority in their life even when things get tough

We have found that the following criteria suggest that the Adult DBT program would not be the best fit:

  • Treatment is being mandated by the courts, DCPP or some other agency
  • A client is only interested in DBT because they are being pushed into it by a family member or significant other
  • Active manic or psychotic symptoms that are not well managed by medication
  • Active manic or psychotic symptoms with frequent medication non-compliance
  • Unwillingness/disinterest in lowering suicidal or self-harm behaviors
  • Unwillingness/disinterest in lowering substance use behaviors
  • Inability to meet attendance requirements due to severe medical issues, inconsistent transportation, insufficient resources to assure at least a year of treatment (i.e. limited sessions allowed by insurance, insufficient finances to pay for co-pays, etc.)

Information for Referring Agencies

How can you refer a client to the Adult DBT program?
While you are free to call and ask for more information about the Adult DBT program to decide if your client would be a good fit, it is ultimately the client that must call to say he/she wants to join the program. Clients start the process of joining the Adult DBT program by calling 908-994-7556 and stating that they are interested. Because DBT is a voluntary treatment, we require that the client themselves call as opposed to a family member, service provider, or agency.

  • NOTE: Because our program is in very high demand, there is usually a wait before clients are screened and start the program. It is likely that clients being referred from an inpatient unit will need to be involved in other services after they are discharged while waiting to join the program
  • Mandated/Court-Ordered Referrals
    Because DBT is a voluntary treatment, we DO NOT take mandated or court ordered clients. Furthermore, because of the significant amount of work clients are required to do outside of sessions, individuals who would join only to meet attendance requirements will likely not benefit from the treatment.

    Coordination of Care
    If a client is willing to sign a release of information, we will gladly share any relevant information needed to coordinate care. However, please be advised that DBT uses a method called "consultation to the client" which means that the client will be in charge of discussing any issues that come up with you directly. The individual therapist will not be talking to other providers on the client's behalf under most circumstances. Furthermore, information requested about attendance or treatment progress will be given to the client who will then provide the information to you.