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What is dialectical behavior therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a structured approach to help people who struggle with emotional disturbances like borderline personality disorder. It includes individual therapy, group therapy, and learning skills to help make life more manageable. The fundamental skills taught in DBT are ideal for anyone to use on a daily basis. Our staff members practice and use these skills daily.

Do you only treat people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder?
No, we treat many different mental health issues including bipolar disorder, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, social phobia, grief and many other forms of mental health issues. While we focus on DBT as a structure for many of our clients, we use other forms of counseling when appropriate.

What ages of clients do you work with?
We serve youth, adolescents and adults. We have some clients as young as 8 years old!

How is DBT different?
DBT differs from other therapies in many ways, but the most unique difference centers around the adaptation of a specific skill set to manage life. The skills are based on mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT skills are taught in a group environment and practiced with weekly homework, as well as reporting on that homework during therapy.

What if I don't want to attend group therapy?
During more than 20 year of providing these services, we have found that clients achieve the best results by adhering to the DBT model completely. We understand that, initially, it may be difficult to feel comfortable joining a group setting and speaking about personal issues, feelings and emotions. But the relationships you build within the group setting will provide powerful support on your journey of healing. When possible, we will match you up with the group leader who is your individual therapist. All of our group leaders are caring and compassionate professionals who want to help you feel comfortable. Not all diagnosis require group participation.

What causes borderline personality disorder?
While there is no known definitive cause for borderline personality disorder, research suggests there are at least three main factors at play:

Genes. Studies of families, including twins, suggest personality disorders are hereditary.

Environmental factors. While these factors may not be causative, people with borderline personality disorder tend to have suffered severe abuse, neglect and trauma in childhood.

Brain abnormalities. Studies show that parts of the brain responsible for regulating emotions, impulses and aggression are structured differently from control group members who do not have the diagnosis. Furthermore, neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) may perform in atypical ways.

How long does it take to complete the DBT program?
Every individual is different, but for those entering the Lilac Center’s DBT program, we anticipate 12 months. We also provide aftercare groups for those who have completed the DBT skills program.

Do you offer psychiatry and medication management services?
Yes. Our medical director, Dr. Christine Trueblood, MD is our on-staff psychiatrist. While she sees many Lilac Center clients, not all of our clients see her as their psychiatrist. She specializes in treating borderline personality disorder, but sees clients with many mental health needs. Currently, she is only able to see clients who are receiving therapy services from the Lilac Center.

Do you take health insurance?
The Lilac Center accepts most health insurance policies including BCBS of Kansas City, Humana, UBH, Cigna, GEHA, Value Options, TriCare and Medicare. Please bring your insurance card to your first appointment. Depending on your plan, you may have a co-payment. Co-payments are due at time of service.

Do you accept Medicaid?
Unfortunately, we do not accept Medicaid at this time. Please contact your local community mental health center. They usually accept Medicaid and often offer reduced-fee or free services to clients who can't afford services.

Must I use insurance or can I privately pay?
We have many clients who prefer to pay for services privately. Private pay rate for individual therapy is $90 per 50-minute session, $40 per group session, and $30 per coaching call. Please call for more information.

What if I don't have insurance and can't afford to pay?
We have limited appointments available for a reduced fee from our therapist interns and provisionally licensed therapist. Please call our office to inquire. There are also free and reduced-fee services available from local community mental health centers for those who can't afford services.

Do I need a referral to be able to make an appointment?
No. If you are in need of mental health services, you are free to call and make an appointment.

What is the process to get started in your program?
Please call 816-221-0305 and push "1" to schedule an appointment. We will answer any questions, match you up with the best clinician for you, and check on your insurance benefits. During high call volume times, you may have to leave a message. We will return your call within one business day. You can also fill out this form and we will contact you.

What if I don't like my therapist?
We do our best to match up clients with the therapist that would be the best fit based on availability, insurance and personality. Sometimes it turns out to not be a good fit. We encourage you to speak candidly and skillfully with your therapist about your concerns. If you find you would like to switch to a different therapist we can help you do that.

Can I continue to see my outside therapist and attend group at the Lilac Center?
Yes you can, as long as your therapist supports the DBT framework and will work with you individually on mastering DBT skills. We will coordinate care with your therapist to provide the best care possible.