What is DBM?


The field of Developmental Behavioural Modelling (DBM) was created in Glasgow in the late 1980s’ by John Mcwhirter. He continues to develop his ideas to this day, both in Scotland and at the University of Valencia, Spain.  DBM is a systemic study of how people learn and develop, and it takes the idea of models and modelling as its root metaphor.

From a modelling perspective none of us have direct, unmediated access to the world as it actually is.  Rather, through experience, and sometimes conscious effort, we build working models of ourselves, others and the world as we grow - and we experience everything through these models.

 In DBM the therapist offers a client a warm, empathic and safe relationship to help them explore both their current models of understanding and how they go about modelling their life experiences. Together they might explore things like: relationships, emotions, mindfulness, mental health, change, grief, anxiety, planning, decision-making, perfectionism, depression, trauma, neurodivergence, joy, meaning, self-compassion, parenting, studying etc.  In short, any aspects of life they feel they might be struggling with. The aim is always to support clients to enrich their modelling and allow them to live more successfully in alignment with their values.