Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a skills training programme for people who experience difficulites in regulating emotions, including those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or traits. There is no specific diagnostic requirement for participation in the programme. If intense emotions, unmanageable distress or problematic behaviours interfere with your ability to be an effective human being, for example in the context of personal or professional relationships, DBT might be just what's needed. It will assist you in coping effectively with self-harm, extreme emotional sensitivity, mood swings, ADHD, eating difficulties, anger, depression, anxiety, intense relationships, impulsivity, and ultimately in building a fruitful, satisfying life.


Entry points onto the programme

Core Mindfulness: 7th January 2020
Distress Tolerance: 18th February 2020
Emotion Regulation: 14th April 2020
Interpersonal (Relationship) Effectiveness: 7th July 2020

Where and When?

This group will be held weekly from 7th January 2020 onwards on Tuesdays from 10am to 11:30am in the centre of Canterbury. Exact location will be confirmed shortly.

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is one of the most researched treatments for people with difficulties in regulating their emotions. It was originally developed by Dr Marsha Linehan for self-harming individuals who met criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD). DBT is a team-based programme which entails weekly individual therapy and skills classes, phone skills coaching available seven days a week and DBT team consultation*. It was proven effective in reducing suicidal behaviour, self-injury, impulsivity, disruptions to personal relationships and improving social functioning. DBT is also applied as a treatment for eating and mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood sexual abuse and substance dependency, and is now the go-to treatment for improving emotional regulation skills in those diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD or ADD.

*DBT team consultation is focused on the people who provide DBT, including individual therapists and skills trainers. The consultation team is intended to support them in their work and is designed to help therapists stay competent, motivated and adherent to the model so they can provide the best treatment possible.

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, however, as the research studies conducted on DBT for BPD have all included one year of this intensive treatment, we recommend that clients commit to DBT for one year. This is subject to individual circumstances.


  • Core Mindfulness and the Middle Path consists of 6 weekly sessions and is designed to teach you how to increase your awareness levels, focus better, train your attention, decrease reactivity and judgmentalness, accept current moment experiences, be more dialectical and less controlled by extremes.
  • Distress Tolerance module lasts for 8 weeks and 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 or impulsive substance misuse.
  • Emotion Regulation entails 12 weekly classes and involves learning to recognise and label current emotions, identify obstacles to changing emotions, reduce emotional reactivity, increase positive emotions, and change emotions that are unhelpful or unwarranted.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness is spread over 8 weeks and teaches effective strategies for asking for what you need, saying no, setting boundaries and coping with interpersonal conflict. This module is of particular relevance to individuals who experience their relationships as chaotic, intense and unstable, and it teaches strategies for maintaining balanced relationships.
  • Advanced DBT Skills is a 12-week module for people who have mastered the skills in each of the core modules listed above and now want to enhance their existing skills and learn new ones. In this module you will learn about the theory and practice of dialectical thinking, validation of self and others, building new relationships, getting people to like you, ending hopeless relationships, mindfulness of others, reinforcement and strategies for changing behaviour, and many others. This module is also open to people who have completed standard DBT elsewhere.

How will I learn?

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 our DBT skills classes. Although DBT was originally developed for people meeting criteria for BPD, the skills we teach can help other people who experience problems with self-harm, extreme emotional sensitivity, mood swings, anger, recurrent depression, anxiety, intense or chaotic relationships, impulsivity and stress.

How to begin?

All individuals interested in joining the full programme will be assessed by a member of the Mind-Reframed team. Following assessment you will be offered a few individual pre-treatment sessions that focus on psycho-education, coming up with your targets for treatment and establishing commitment. This can anything between one and six sessions depending on individual needs before joining the skills classes. Those who would like to attend only some modules without committing to individual DBT can provide a letter of recommendation from their psychiatrist, GP or therapist outlining the history and reasons for referral.

Fees

The fee is £75 per 90-minute class. To reserve the place 50% of the module fee must be paid at the time of booking which is non-refundable. The remaining part of the fee is due a week before the official start date of the module. It is only possible to commit to a full module and the fees are payable for each of the sessions. This includes sessions that are not attended, missed or cancelled.