Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy


1 CE


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DBT is a practical, hands-on therapy that can be used to help any client, even if they don’t have a mood disorder. From this course, you will learn about emotions and how to change them, become better able to interact with others, be more mindful, and learn how to handle difficult situations proficiently. DBT is an empirically supported treatment for individuals with severe emotional regulation problems. Part of the treatment consists of teaching individuals specific skill sets in mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and crisis management. In addition, this course will cover dialectical behaviour therapy approaches to address suicidal thoughts and actions, self-harm, emotion dysregulation, behavioural dysregulation, cognitive dysregulation, and self-dysregulation. Emphasis is given to the practical application of therapy techniques and troubleshooting difficult and challenging clinical circumstances. You will learn an overview of these skills and strategies to integrate them into their clinical practice in various individual and group therapy settings.

Course Modules

The course begins by outlining what DBT is, why it was developed, and how it is used. You will quickly understand the therapy and the benefits of learning and using DBT skills from this foundational knowledge.

The second module starts by explaining the underlying theory and builds a greater understanding of emotion dysregulation. For a better understanding, a case study is also provided.

Module 3 conceptualizes validation and its purpose. Along with an explanation of the six levels of validation, their importance and a connection is made about how to use validation in therapy.

Module 4 takes you step by step through DBT’s modular treatment program, where you will learn how and why it is structured the way it is.

Module 5 will take you through the four stages you can go through when undergoing DBT training.

The final module concludes the discussion on DBT by stating its benefits, effectiveness, and limitations.

Learning Goal

By the end of the course, the participant will have a basic understanding of DBT.

Learning Objectives

• Define the dialectic and explore the theory and history of DBT
• Understand validation in DBT
• Examine the four pillars of DBT and targets of treatment
• Practice skills that apply to many clients
• Apply knowledge of DBT skills to scenarios
• Explain the importance of being mindful
• Explore the benefits, effectiveness, and limitations of DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinical Supervision

Connect with one of our seasoned, well-trained clinical supervisors to enhance your time with clients and receive guidance that benefits your practice. Clinical Supervision is a valuable part of counsellor development because it provides the perfect bridge between theory and practice. You get the personalized attention you need when designing the best way to help your client!


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Linehan M. Cognitive-behavioural Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press; 1993a. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Linehan, M. M. 1993b. Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Linehan, M.M. 2015 DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition. New York: The Guilford Press. - Amazon Affiliate Link

Linehan, M. M., H. Schmidt III, L. A. Dimeff, J. C. Craft, J. Kanter and K. A. Comtois. 1999. Dialectical behavior therapy for persons with borderline personality disorder and drug dependence. The American Journal of Addictions 8, 279–292. - Link

Rathus, JH & Miller, AL. (2002). Dialectical behavior therapy adapted for suicidal adolescents. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour, 32, 2, 146-157. - Link

Telch, Christy F.; Agras, W. Stewart; Linehan, Marsha M. Dialectical behavior therapy for binge eating disorder (2001). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69(6), 1061-1065. - Link

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Handbook.pdf by Brent M - PDF Drive. (2022). Retrieved 30 March 2022, from https://www.pdfdrive.com/dialectical-behavior-therapy-skills-handbookpdf-d7107166.html

Gross JJ. The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Rev Gen Psychol. 1998;2:271–99. - Link

Blennerhassett, R. C., & O'Raghallaigh, J. W. (2005, March). Dialectical behaviour therapy in the treatment of borderline personality disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry186(4), 278-280. doi:10.1192/bjp.186.4.278. - Link

Chapman, A. L. (2006, September). Dialectical Behavior Therapy Current Indications and Unique Elements. Psychiatry MMC,3(9), 62-68. Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information (PMC2963469). - Link

Dimeff, L., & Linehan, M. (2001). Dialectical Behavior Therapy in a Nutshell. The California Psychologist, 10-13 - Link

Intervention Summary - Dialectical Behavior Therapy. (2006, October).

Linehan, M., Comtois, K. A., Murray, A. M., Brown, M. Z., Gallop, R. J., Heard, H. L., & Korslund, K. E. (2006, July 1). Two-year randomized controlled trial and follow-up of dialectical behavior therapy vs therapy by experts for suicidal behaviours and borderline personality disorder. JAMA Psychiatry63(7), 757-766. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.63.7.757. - Link

What is DBT?. (n.d.). In The Linehan Institute.

Course Content

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