National DBT Service

Te Whare Mahana offers New Zealand’s only national residential Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) programme. Situated in Golden Bay, Nelson Tasman, this internationally renowned programme is for people experiencing frequent high levels of distress and have had little success from hospital and community treatments.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is an intensive behavioural treatment approach, helping people work through complex histories and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and learn new skills for managing relationships and coping with distress. American psychologist Marsha M. Linehan developed the well-established treatment model as a better way of treating people with Borderline Personality Disorder and chronic self-harm/suicidal behaviours. DBT is now routinely used to treat a wide range of different and co-occurring mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.

DBT emphasises the learning and refinement of skills to help regulate emotions, change thinking patterns associated with problems in daily living and reduce misery and distress. DBT incorporates the acquisition of skills to assist residents in improving interpersonal effectiveness and their quality of life.

Click here to find out more about who DBT is for.


The programme

Our programme offers up to six placements in a 24 hour-staffed home in Golden Bay, Nelson Tasman. The environment is welcoming, private and safe.

Treatment includes twice-weekly individual therapy sessions with intensively trained DBT clinicians, multiple skills classes and crisis coaching, skills practice groups and 24/7 access to DBT coaches. There are also opportunities to apply therapeutic learning through shared living, daily skills groups, household management, recreational and vocational activities and during home visits. Family/Whanau therapy and Transition/Home-based consultation are provided to support long-lasting change.

We have links with Te Whatu Ora Nelson Marlborough Acute Psychiatric Unit. We also work with the Golden Bay Community Health Centre, WINZ, Te Whare Mahana’s Community Mental Health and Employment Services, and Ark Respite Care.