34-week online DBT programme
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is one of the most researched treatments for people with difficulties in regulating their emotions. DBT is a team-based programme which entails weekly individual therapy and a skills class, access to phone skills coaching available seven days a week and DBT team consultation*.
Clients who are unable to commit to the twice weekly programme can attend the skills classes alone without ongoing one-to-one sessions subject to the outcome of assessment or a referral letter.
Entry is possible at the start of each module.
What will I learn?
There are four core DBT modules which are attended as part of the full DBT programme. It takes 34 weeks to complete them all once. If your goals revolve particularly around enhancing relationships you can also attend the advanced 10-week module called ‘Interpersonal Skills in Action’. Subject to individual circumstances and the review offered by our team it might be indicated to repeat the modules and/or extend your place on the programme to solidify your use of skills.
- Six-week Core Mindfulness and Middle Path module is designed to teach you how to increase your awareness levels, decrease reactivity and judgmentalness, focus better, train your attention, accept current moment experiences and be more compassionate towards yourself. This module will also teach you how to avoid taking extreme positions and instead acknowledge the validity of different positions and others’ perspectives.
- Eight-week Distress Tolerance module is centred on accepting difficult situations and emotions and finding ways to survive and tolerate the moment without engaging in problematic behaviours such as self-harm, conflict, substance misuse or other impulsive behaviours. You will learn how to respond to stressful and overwhelming emotions by engaging both your body and mind in the process. This module will cover both strategies of change and acceptance.
- 12-week Emotion Regulation module involves learning to recognise and label current emotions, identify obstacles to changing emotions, reduce emotional vulnerability and reactivity, increase positive emotions and harness a more positive long-term outlook, and change emotions that are unhelpful or unwarranted. This module will also teach you how to gradually decrease avoidance of feelings and become more comfortable experiencing emotions.
- Eight-week Interpersonal Effectiveness module teaches strategies aimed at improving your communication in order to foster healthy relationships. You will learn skills to ask for what you need, say no, set boundaries and cope with interpersonal conflict in a way that influences others whilst enhancing the relationship and your self-respect. This module is of particular relevance to individuals who experience their relationships as chaotic, intense and unstable, and those who feel that their needs are never met in relationships.
- 10-week Interpersonal Skills in Action is an advanced module for people who have attended the Interpersonal Effectiveness DBT module and want to enhance their interpersonal skills further, improve existing relationships and build new ones. In this module you will learn about the theory and practice of dialectical thinking, balancing opposites, how to balance intense desire for change with acceptance of the moment, validation of self and others, recovering from invalidation, building new relationships, getting people to like you, how to communicate our emotions to others, mindfulness of others, reinforcement and strategies for changing behaviour. There will also be two practice sessions to immerse yourself in the application of the skills. You will also be able to bring your own real-life scenarios and receive suggestions from the group trainer on how to approach them skillfully.
How will I learn?
DBT classes are designed to be interactive, not where you passively listen to the facilitator. You can expect to be challenged by the didactics, demonstrations and discussions. The aim of this approach is to encourage you to help you maximise your use of the tools that you will be learning. New skills are presented each week and homework tasks are assigned for participants to practice during the week.
Homework is reviewed at the next class. To enhance learning and effective application of newly acquired knowledge and skills people who commit to the full DBT programme will have access to phone skills coaching, which can be accessed at times of heightened distress seven days a week. The goal of this is for people to get better at using the skills when they are needed most, such as during times of intense emotion, crisis or conflict.
Who should join the class?
- There is no specific diagnostic requirement for participation in the DBT programme.
- DBT was originally developed for people who met the criteria for BPD and proven effective in reducing suicidal behaviour, self-injury, impulsivity, disruptions to personal relationships and improving social functioning.
- The skills we teach can help anyone, with or without a diagnosis, who experiences challenges with extreme emotional sensitivity and ability to return to a calm emotional baseline, mood swings, anger, recurrent depression, intense or chaotic relationships, feelings of guilt and shame and high stress.
- DBT is also applied as a treatment for some eating and mood difficulties, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress and substance misuse, and is now the go-to treatment for improving emotional regulation skills in those diagnosed with ADHD and ADD.
- The skills classes can also be suitable for those who are engaging in the stabilisation and safety stage of trauma-focused therapy.
DBT skills programme is facilitated by experienced members of the Mind-Reframed Team who in addition to their core mental health training, received extensive training and expert supervision in dialectical behaviour therapy from the Linehan Institute. To find out more about our team please go to www.mind-reframed.com/aboutus.