DBT Skills Training groups are for clients who would like to cope more effectively with intense emotions, addictive behaviors, and/or relationship struggles. DBT Skills are taught to reduce self-destructive behaviors and learn more adaptive ways to manage painful emotions. These skills include:
DBT is a skills/teaching group, not a process group.
All of the DBT skills build on each other. The group lasts a total of 6 months to finish all of the modules (Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance).
Group members are asked to be able to commit to 6 months of the group therapy, which meets once a week, before joining the group.
However, research recommends at least a year of skills training for clients to be able to learn, practice, and apply new coping skills to replace their maladaptive coping mechanisms.
At the end of the 6 months, clients may wish to “graduate” the group if they feel satisfied with what they have gotten out of the group, or they can remain in the group until they feel confident in their use of coping skills.
Adapted from: Fielder-Jenks, C. (April 15, 2013). DBT Spotlight Blog Series: What is DBT? Located at: CFJCounseling.com/blog
Behavioral Tech, LLC. (2013). DBT® Resources: What is DBT?
Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press.
Linehan, M. M. and Dimeff, L. (2001). Dialectical Behavior Therapy in a Nutshell. The California Psychologist, 34, 10-13.