Women's Dialectical Behavior Therapy

This program is now offering virtual programming through telehealth.

Women's Partial Hospital Program

The Women's Partial Hospital Program at Butler Hospital helps women manage depression, anxiety, substance abuse, problematic behaviors and other psychiatric disorders. In the program, you will learn dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which helps manage suicidal thoughts, self-injurious behavior, and feelings that are overwhelming to you. The program runs Monday through Friday starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. 

With a focus on practical problem-solving, the Women's Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program teaches the skills needed to cope and effectively manage challenging relationships, situations, thoughts, and feelings. In an effort to change a very painful state of mind as a result of these challenges, you may be engaging in a variety of behaviors, such as self-injury, binge eating, reckless driving, compulsive cleaning, etc. A second focus of DBT is on validation, a powerful tool whereby you, with the help of your treatment team, work on accepting uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors rather than struggling with them. Through this process the idea of change no longer appears impossible.

Contact Information:

As of 3/16/2020, the Tuesday DBT Aftercare Group is no longer being offered.

Women's DBT Program
Butler Hospital
345 Blackstone Boulevard
1st Floor Goddard Building
Providence, RI 02906
P: 1 (844) 401-0111

Expert care that combines home and hospital. To learn more and to schedule an appointment call 1 (844) 401-0111, available 24/7.

For Physicians and Clinicians 
Physicians and clinicians, you may fax us a completed Patient Referral Form or a representative at our Call Center will also assist you in starting the admissions process.

Patient Referral Form

Program Highlights

The Women's DBT Partial Hospital Program provides group education sessions and individual therapy. Group sessions are helpful in learning new coping skills. Individual sessions with a therapist are an opportunity to talk about how you can apply those skills to your own personal life and situations. Medication management and aftercare planning are also provided.

Your individual therapist will help you learn how to apply what you are learning in the groups to your personal life. Staff members are always available to talk with you and to provide support and personal assistance. In addition, medical internists, neurologists, dietitians and psychologists serve as consultants, and a chaplain is also available to meet with you at your request.

Dialectical behavior therapy is designed to help you overcome:
  • Feeling suicidal much of the time
  • Hurting yourself to change the way you feel.
  • Living a chaotic, painful life
  • Remaining depressed despite treatment
  • Experiencing spells of emotional "numbness." 
  • Feeling painfully empty
  • Experiencing fears of being abandoned
  • Trouble tolerating emotions
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Being unable to stop thinking about a traumatic painful past
  • Having numerous psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Painful relationships

Learn More About the Program

How long will I attend the program?

The average length of stay in the program is five to seven days but may vary based on individual needs. We ask that you make attendance in the program a priority during this time and that you not miss any days of the program.

What is a typical day like?

On a typical day, you will participate in four DBT education skills training sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon with 10–15 minute breaks in between. You will also meet one-on-one with your therapist and/or doctor. There is a one-hour break for lunch at noontime.

What should I bring with me?
  • Picture identification
  • Insurance card
  • List of current medications
  • Name and contact information for current outpatient providers
  • Lunch (or you may use the cafeteria services)
  • Many people find it helpful to bring a notebook
What happens when I'm ready to leave the program?

Your treatment team will help develop an after-care plan that's right for you. There is also a free six-month DBT Skills Class that meets once a week on Tuesdays from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Anyone who has recently completed the Women's Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program and has not attended the six-month class previously is welcome. 


Family Involvement

The involvement of your family and others who play a significant role in your life is sometimes important to the success of your recovery. Family and couples sessions are arranged as needed. No contact will be made with your family or others without your consent, except in the case of an emergency.

Meet the Team

Ellen M. Costello, PhD

Clinical Director

Sheila Russell, LICSW

Director of Partial Hospital and Intensive Outpatient Services

Cathy Horton, RN

Nurse Manager

Emily Gentes, PhD

Staff Psychologist