Do emotions rule your life and your relationships? Perhaps you've learnt to keep them at bay? Skills taught as part of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy can help you recognise emotions, be with your them rather than becoming them, change emotions that are not warranted or helpful, express them skillfully to others and also manage your thinking, behaviours and urges. Clinical evidence suggests that DBT skills are of help to people living with Borderline Personality Disorder and others who experience problems with self-harm, extreme emotional sensitivity, mood swings, anger, recurrent depression, anxiety, intense or chaotic relationships, impulsivity and stress.

Entry points onto the programme

Emotion Regulation: 21st October 2017 (Kings Cross)
Core Mindfulness: 6th November 2017 (Leytonstone) and 6th January 2018 (Kings Cross)
Distress Tolerance: 3rd February 2018 (Kings Cross)
Interpersonal (Relationship) Effectiveness: 4th December 2017 (Leytonstone)

Where and When?

There are two DBT skills classes held on Saturdays: first one is between 10am and 12pm and the second one between 12:15pm and 1:45pm. The 10am session is open to people who are on the full DBT programme and the 12:15pm class is open to all. These groups meet weekly in Islington at the Barnsbury Community Centre, 10 Jays Street, London, N1 0TJ. Nearest stations are Kings Cross, Caledonian Road or Caledonian Road & Barnsbury. The next 9-week class starts in Emotion Regulation Skills will begin on 21st October 2017. The fee is £80 per session (£720) for the 10am class and £70 per session (£630) for the 12:15pm class. We will be meeting weekly and the final class of the module will take place on 16th December. This class will followed by classes in Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance and Interpersonal (Relationship) Skills.

Our week-day DBT classes are held on Mondays from 5:45pm to 7:15pm in East London at the United Free Church, 55 Wallwood Road, London, E11 1AY, which is a short distance away from Leytonstone station. The next 7-week class in Interpersonal (Relationship) Effectiveness Skills will begin on Monday 4th December 2017 and the fee is £490. The sessions will be held on 4th, 11th and 18th December and 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th January 2018. It will be followed by classes in Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Core Mindfulness.

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is the most researched treatment for people who experience difficulties in regulating their emotions. It was originally developed by Dr Marsha Linehan for self-harming individuals who met criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT is effective for people who experience overwhelming emotions and want to learn more skillful ways of managing intense suffering, reduce disruptions to their personal relationships and social lives, decrease impulsivity and build lives that they will experience as worth living. DBT programme consists of weekly individual therapy and skills classes. This intensive twice weekly therapy was proven effective in reducing suicidal behaviour, non-suicidal self-injury as well as improving social and overall functioning. DBT is now widely used as a treatment for eating and mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance dependency. Research also suggests its effectiveness with sexual abuse survivors. We give people a choice of committing to the full programme, which entails both individual therapy and DBT classes or just DBT classes if they receive individual therapy elsewhere or are only interested in some of the DBT modules.

What will I learn?

There are 4 DBT skills modules which are based on the recently updated DBT Skills Training Manual by Marsha Linehan (2014). Each of these modules is to be attended as part of the full DBT programme.

  • Core mindfulness consists of 3-4 weekly sessions and is designed to teach you how to increase your awareness levels, focus better, train your attention, decrease reactivity and judgmentalness and be more accepting of current moment experiences.
  • Distress tolerance module lasts for 7 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.
  • Emotion regulation entails 9 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 7 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.

How will I learn?

New skills are presented each week and homework is 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 7 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?

DBT skills classes are a crucial part of the intensive twice weekly DBT programme. To be on the full DBT programme you need to have a simultaneous involvement in individual therapy with one of the Mind-Reframed team members. People who are on the full programme are given priority to join our Saturday morning class. Monday and Saturday PM classes are suitable for those who are only interested in learning some of the modules without committing to the whole DBT programme or people who attended DBT in the past and now want to refresh their knowledge of some of skills. Individuals interested in joining the programme will be assessed by a member of the Mind-Reframed team. Those who are only considering some modules without committing to individual DBT can provide a letter of recommendation from their psychiatrist or therapist outlining the history and reasons for referral.


The fee is £80 per 2-hour weekly Saturday session. A small number of bursaries is available to people in genuine financial difficulties who are embarking on the full twice weekly DBT programme. The fee for the 90-minute DBT classes is £70 per session. Deposit of £100 must be paid at the time of booking. It is only possible to commit to the full module and the fees are payable for each of the sessions. This includes sessions that are not attended, missed or cancelled. The group fee is not refundable.

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