Essential DBT Skills: Running Skills Training Groups

Can be taken as an individual course or as a part of:

Approved by the British Psychological Society for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

21 CPD hours

Course Brief

This practical three-day course can be taken independently or as part of the BPS Approved Certificate in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Taught by highly qualified DBT practitioners, this course will give you the essential set of skills for running DBT Skills Training Groups with your clients.

This practical three-day course can be taken independently or as part of the BPS Approved Certificate in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). Taught by highly qualified DBT practitioners, this course will give you the essential set of skills for running DBT Skills Training Groups with your clients.

BPS Approved Certificate in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy:

Module 1: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: Two-Day Introductory Course

Module 2: DBT Skills Training Groups (STG):

Module 3: Assessed casebook assignment, consult group attendance, reports and test - evidence to be collected over the 12 - 24 months period

Day 1

DBT Skills Training Groups: Distress Tolerance

This day covers the six areas of DBT Distress Tolerance Skills Training that typically runs over a six week period.

The aim of these is to provide clients with a menu of skills that are learnt and practiced in order to handle short term emotional crises where arousal is extreme and overwhelming.

Techniques covered include:

  • STOP (Stop, Take a step back, Observe, Proceed mindfully)
  • TIPP (Temperature, Intense exercise, Paced breathing, Progressively relax muscles)
  • ACCEPTS (Activities, Contributions, Comparisons, Emotions, Pushing away, Thoughts, Sensations)
  • SELF SOOTHE (with five senses)
  • IMPROVE the moment (from Imagery through to Encouragement)
  • Pros and Cons (of acting on impulses)

Day 2

DBT Skills Training Groups: Emotional Regulation

This day covers the three areas of DBT Emotional Regulation Skills Training typically run over a six week period:

  • Helping clients understanding & naming emotions (Spotting, Observing, Describing & Understanding the Function of Emotions)
  • Enabling clients to change unwanted emotions (Both BEFORE they start and ONCE they’ve begun)
  • Ensuring clients reduce emotional vulnerability (by reducing sensitivity to emotional mind and extreme emotions and increasing resilience and positive emotions)

Issues addressed include:

  • The distinction between primary and secondary emotions
  • How biology affects mood
  • Tackling moodiness
  • Myths about emotion
  • “Opposite Action” technique
  • Problem solving
  • “ABCD Please” strategy

Day 3

DBT Skills Training Groups: Interpersonal Effectiveness

This day covers the three areas of DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills Training typically run over a six week period.

  • Developing & Maintaining Relationships
  • Balancing Change & Acceptance in Relationships
  • Assertiveness & Interpersonal Problem Solving

Issues addressed:

  • Learning skills to get what you want and need from others
  • How to build relationships and end destructive ones
  • How to travel a middle path between change and acceptance in relationships
  • “DEAR MAN” strategy (Describe, Express, Assert, Reinforce, Mindfully, Appear confident, Negotiate)
  • “GIVE” technique (Gentle, Interested, Validate, Easy manner)
  • “FAST” technique (Fair, Avoid apologies, Stick to values, Truthful)
  • How Far Do You Go In Asking For Something & How Far Do You Go In Saying No?

NB! Tutors reserve the right to extend the topics beyond one day and adjust the outline as they see fit, depending on the needs of the training group.

Course Tutors

Marie Wassberg
Accredited CBT Therapist

Marie Wassberg qualified as a CBT therapist at Goldsmiths University, London, 2003. She is registered with the HCPC and Accredited with BABCP in the UK. Marie has Diploma in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), gained in 2010, where she trained with Dr Elizabeth Malmquist and Dr Anita Linnér (Sweden), as well as with Professor Alan Fruzzetti and Professor Jill Rathus (USA). She is also trained in Trauma Focused-CBT, including Supervisor training; Prolonged Exposure; and DBT for Schools (STEPS-A). Marie has been part of developing many DBT-informed programmes in different settings, mainly for children, adolescents and families, but also for young adults (18-25), both in Sweden and in England. In 2018 Marie offered support and DBT-informed training to a group of mothers in Mexico.

Darryl Christie
Accredited DBT Therapist

Darryl is an accredited dialectical behaviour therapist (one of the first in the UK) and a subject matter expert in DBT. He trained both with the Linehan Institute in the USA and British Isles DBT in the UK. Darryl also received expert supervision in DBT and DBT-Prolonged Exposure (PE) from both Dr Heidi Heard and Dr Melanie Harned who are both leading and world-renowned clinicians in the field of borderline personality disorder (BPD), DBT and trauma.

Recommended Materials

DBT Skills Training Manual

Book by Marsha M. Linehan

From Marsha M. Linehan--the developer of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)--this comprehensive resource provides vital tools for implementing DBT skills training.