Our Program for Adults

Many of the adults who come to Clearwater requesting DBT have had other therapy experiences prior to joining our program.  In general, DBT is more intensive than individual therapy, but not a substitute for partial day programs.  Most people spend two to four hours a week in DBT treatment at Clearwater.

DBT services for adults at Clearwater include individual therapy, with phone coaching from 7am to 10pm daily.  Skills classes meet once a week for two hours.  Typically, we require a six month commitment to DBT at the beginning of treatment as that is the time needed to teach the entire DBT curriculum.  Most people repeat the skills class twice, although there is a treatment review undertaken after six months to determine whether the treatment is working.  In DBT, services are not continued without some observable progress on treatment goals.

Sometimes a client is committed to a therapist s/he has been working with prior to seeking DBT, and s/he would like to continue to work with that professional and only take a skills class.  We are flexible about this, and will typically work it out as long as the individual therapist is comfortable supporting DBT.

Clearwater also offers DBT informed therapy.  Phone coaching is not provided, and skills classes are not usually indicated for this type of treatment.  However, instruction in skills is integrated into the individual sessions, and some other components of DBT therapy (like diary cards, mindfulness training, and behavioral chaining) are generally utilized in the treatment.  This is often a desirable treatment approach for clients who are having problems tolerating distress without making things worse, and/or modulating their emotions, but are not engaging in dangerous or self-harming behaviors.

Skills Classes currently being offered for Adults are:

  • Tuesdays from 11:00 to 1:00 (with a ten minute break) with Erika Swanson, Ph.D.  Next entry date is 11/12/2019.  Class size is limited to 15.
  • Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 (with a ten minute break) with Karen Erickson, LMFT & Caitlin Burnham, MSW Next entry dates is 11/13/2019.  Class size is limited to 15.

Skills classes cost $720 per person for each 8 week module. Most participants complete the full 24-week curriculum (i.e., three 8-week modules). Classes are held in the classroom at 3803 Broadway, Suite 1, across the street from the main building. Payment is due at the time of enrollment. For clients seeing a therapist outside of Clearwater, we require a one-time intake appointment with the DBT class instructor. This intake costs $200. Participants are also required to purchase the ‘DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets’ manual. Clearwater sells them for $35 or clients can purchase them on-line. Clearwater does not accept Medi-cal or direct third party payments.  Visa and Mastercard are welcome.

Practical Information

Clearwater is located blocks from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. It has parking available, is on a major bus line, and is within walking distance of the MacArthur BART station. It is only about a 25 minute drive from Walnut Creek, Danville, and other Tri-Valley communities.


Updated 9/12/19