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

Interpersonal (Relationship) Effectiveness: 2nd September 2017 (Kings Cross)
Emotion Regulation: 4th September 2017 (Leytonstone) and 21st October 2017 (Kings Cross)
Core Mindfulness: TBC
Distress Tolerance: TBC

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 on 21st October 2017 and will focus on Emotion Regulation Skills. 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 9-week class will cover Emotion Regulation Skills and will begin on Monday 4th September 2017. It will be followed by classes in Interpersonal Effectiveness, Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance.

What is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is the most researched treatment for people living with Borderline Personality Disorder, also known as disorder of emotion regulation. It consists of weekly individual therapy and skills classes divided into four modules. DBT is a modification of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and it applies a range of cognitive-behavioural strategies and mindfulness skills to the problems experienced by people living with emotion dysregulation. This intensive twice weekly psychological treatment was designed to enhance people's skills in regulating their emotions and behaviour and was shown effective in reducing suicidal behaviour, non-suicidal self-injury as well as improving social and overall functioning. DBT is now used in a variety of psychological treatments including treatment for eating disorders and mood disorders. Recent research also suggests its effectiveness with sexual abuse survivors, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance dependency. DBT skills are of relevance to people who experience overwhelming emotions and want to learn more skillful ways of managing intense suffering, improve their functioning within relationships and build a life that they will experience as worth living. 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 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. People who commit to the full DBT programme (both individual therapy and skills groups) will have access to phone skills coaching, which can be accessed at times of heightened distress 7 days a week. This helps to generalise their newly acquired knowledge and accelerate the effective use of skills. The goal of DBT classes is for people to gain new skills, get better at the skills they have and be able to use the skills when they are really needed, 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.

NEW: Group-Only Programme

We are currently assessing people for an innovative DBT programme which will consist of:

  • Thorough one to one assessment,
  • Group psycho-education and introduction to the DBT model and biosocial theory,
  • Skills classes in each of the four DBT modules (mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness),
  • Advanced DBT module building on the main four modules
  • DBT phone skills coaching. You will have access to phone skills coaching on an ongoing basis and will be able to call one of the therapists on the team during and after office hours for help with applying the skills, i.e. at times of distress.

To optimize learning and make sure everyone gets the help they need, we keep our groups limited to a maximum of 10 participants.

This programme will be held on weekday evenings (exact day and timings to be set) and will start running in autumn this year and if you'd like to be assessed for it please get in touch.


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 £65 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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