1- The DBT therapist provides inter-session contact to:
• Help the patient apply the skills in the moment they are in.
• For contingency management purposes.
• Strengthen the relationship with the therapist.
2- A main goal of inter-session contact is to shape the patient to contact the therapist before a crisis is full-blown.
Intersession contact is not meant to be a substitute for therapy. It is not therapy over the phone. However, the patient having access to their individual DBT therapist between sessions can be extremely beneficial for a variety of reasons. There are multiple functions of intersession contact.
One of those is skills generalization. Although the patients are learning skills in group, learning something in a classroom and attaining the ability to apply it to the environment in the moment are two different things. So DBT assists in this learning curve by providing the opportunity for patients to contact their DBT therapists who hopefully are well versed in the DBT skills in order to ask them how they might apply the skills they’re learning in group in the moment.