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

Distress Tolerance: 25th or 27th October 2021 or 4th January 2022
Emotion Regulation: 8th or 20th December 2021
Interpersonal (Relationship) Effectiveness: 2nd, 20th or 25th November 2021
Interpersonal Skills in Action: To be confirmed
Core Mindfulness and the Middle Path: 27th October 2021 or 4th January 2022

Where and When?

DBT skills training programme is currently available via Zoom video conferencing and we are unable to specify when we will resume running them in-person in Canterbury.

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.

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 and accept current moment experiences. This module will also teach you how to avoid taking extreme positions and instead acknowledge the validity of different positions and others' perspectives.
  • 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.
  • Interpersonal Skills in Action is a 10-week stand-alone course for people who want to enhance their interpersonal skills, improve existing relationships and build new ones. In this module you will learn about the theory and practice of dialectical thinking, balancing opposites, validation of self and others, recovering from invalidation, building new relationships, getting people to like you, effective communication, ending hopeless relationships, 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?

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. 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. It is also possible to provide a referral letter from your psychiatrist or current therapist outlining your mental health 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.