Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a twice weekly programme for people who experience difficulties in regulating emotions, including those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or traits. It entails attending weekly individual therapy and a skills class. 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.
Where and When?
EACH OF THE BELOW CLASSES ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ONLY ONLINE VIA ZOOM. DAYS AND TIMINGS REMAIN THE SAME. WE WILL UPDATE THE WEBSITE WHEN WE’RE IN THE POSITION TO RESUME IN-PERSON SESSIONS.
KING’S CROSS, CENTRAL LONDON: We hold DBT skills classes at Barnsbury Community Centre, 10 Jays Street, London, N1 0TJ on Saturdays: from 10am to 12pm or from 12:15pm to 1:45pm and on Tuesdays from 1:30pm to 3pm. People who are on the full programme are given priority to join the Saturday 10am class. Nearest stations are Kings Cross, Caledonian Road or Caledonian Road & Barnsbury. Please note that sessions will not be held on Saturdays that fall on or close to Bank Holidays, i.e. 25th December 2021, 1st January 2022, 16th April 2022, 30th April 2022, 4th June 2022, 27th August 2022, 24th and 31st December 2022 .
- The next entry point into Saturday classes is on 29th January 2022 when we begin the 12-week module in Emotion Regulation Skills. The fee is £85 per session (£1,020) for the 10am class and £75 per session (£900) for the 12:15pm class. This class will be followed by modules in Core Mindfulness (7th May 2022), Distress Tolerance (25th June 2022) and Interpersonal Effectiveness (20th August 2022).
- The next entry point into the Tuesday 1:30pm group is on 1st March 2022 when the 12-week class in Emotion Regulation Skills is scheduled to begin. The fee for this class is £900 (£75 x 12 sessions). It will be followed by modules in Core Mindfulness (24th May 2022), Interpersonal Effectiveness (5th July 2022) and Distress Tolerance (30th August 2022).
ANGEL, ISLINGTON: DBT skills classes are run in Angel on Wednesdays from 6pm to 8pm or Thursdays from 5:30pm to 7pm at Brighter Spaces, 2A Prebend Street, Islington, London, N1 8PT. People who are on the full programme are given priority to join the Wednesday group.
- The next entry point to the Wednesday 6pm group is on 30th March 2022 when the 8-week class in Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills is scheduled to begin. The fee for this class is £680 (£85 x 8 sessions). It will be followed by modules in Core Mindfulness (25th May 2022), Distress Tolerance (6th July 2022) and Emotion Regulation (31st August 2022).
- The next entry point to the Thursday 5:30pm group is on 3rd March 2022 when the 8-week class in Distress Tolerance Skills is scheduled to begin. The fee for this class is £600 (£75 x 8 sessions). It will be followed by modules in Emotion Regulation (28th April 2022), Interpersonal Effectiveness (21st July 2022) and Core Mindfulness (15th September 2022).
ONLINE VIA ZOOM: Currently all of our skills classes can be attended online via Zoom until further notice. The Monday 5:45pm-7:15pm, Tuesday 4pm-5:30pm or 6pm-7:30pm and Wednesday 4pm-5-30pm groups are offered permanently online and will continue to be provided online after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
- The next entry point into the Monday 5:45pm group is on 28th March 2022 when the 8-week class in Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills is scheduled to begin. The fee is £600 (£75 x 8 sessions). It will be followed by modules in Core Mindfulness (6th June 2022), Distress Tolerance (1st August 2022) and Emotion Regulation (TBC). Sessions are not held on Bank Holiday Mondays, i.e. 18th April 2022, 2nd May 2022, 29th August 2022 and 26th December 2022.
- The next entry points to the Tuesday 4pm and 6pm groups are on 15th February 2022 when the 8-week module in Distress Tolerance Skills is scheduled to begin and the fee is £600 (£75 x 8 sessions). It will be followed by classes in Emotion Regulation (12th April 2022), Interpersonal Effectiveness (5th July 2022) and Core Mindfulness Skills (30th August 2022).
- The next entry point to the Wednesday 4pm group is on 9th March 2022 when the 8-week module in Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills is scheduled to begin and the fee is £600 (£75 x 8 sessions). It will be followed by classes in Distress Tolerance (4th May 2022), Core Mindfulness (29th June 2022) and Emotion Regulation (TBC). The group will not be held on 29th December 2021.
- The next 10-week Interpersonal Skills in Action module will begin on 7th March 2022 and be held weekly on Mondays from 6pm to 7:30pm via Zoom. The fee is £75 per session (£750).
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 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 one-to-one sessions subject to the assessment or a referral letter.
*The individual therapists and group facilitators meet on a weekly basis and work as a consultation team in the DBT model to ensure that they are all applying DBT appropriately and to assist in you in getting the maximum benefit from the programme
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 at least one year. This is subject to individual circumstances. Clients whose goals revolve particularly around enhancing their relationships are encouraged to attend the optional 10-week ‘Interpersonal Skills in Action’ module.
- Core Mindfulness and the Middle Path consists of 6 weekly sessions and 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.
- 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, 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.
- Emotion Regulation entails 12 weekly classes and involves learning to recognise and label current emotions, identify obstacles to changing emotions, reduce emotional vulnerability and reactivity, increase positive emotions, and change emotions that are unhelpful or unwarranted. This module will also teach you how to gradually decrease avoidance of feelings and become comfortable experiencing emotions that are warranted.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness is spread over 8 weeks and teaches strategies for asking for what you need, saying no, setting boundaries and coping 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 it teaches strategies for maintaining balanced relationships.
- Interpersonal Skills in Action is a 10-week advanced course 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. However, the skills we teach can also help other people who experience challenges with extreme emotional sensitivity, mood swings, anger, recurrent depression, intense or chaotic relationships and stress. DBT is also applied as a treatment for some eating and mood difficulties, post-traumatic stress, childhood sexual abuse and substance misuse, and is now the go-to treatment for improving emotional regulation skills in those diagnosed with anxiety, 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.
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 up to three pre-treatment sessions that focus on psycho-education and introducing some fundamental DBT tools and crisis skills. Those who would like to attend the skills classes without committing to individual DBT can provide a letter of recommendation from their psychiatrist, GP or therapist outlining their history and reasons for referral.
Fees for the intensive DBT programme (individual therapy, skills class and phone skills coaching) range between £175 and £220 a week. It is also possible to commit to attending the DBT skills groups alone for which the fee is £85 per 2-hour class and £75 per 90-minute class.
To formally reserve a place in the skills group 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 fee is payable for all of the sessions. This includes sessions that are not attended, missed or cancelled for any reason. To find out more about our fees please visit the FEES section of this website.