DBT Basics Presentation

In April, I got to do a DBT basics training for work. Here is the outline and PowerPoint I used for the presentation.



DBT is a cognitive-behavioral therapy developed by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington for patients with Borderline Personality Disorder. DBT has been proven effective at treating a myriad of other disorders including eating disorders, treatment-resistant depression, ADHD, substance use disorders, and other mental health disorders. DBT is used in inpatient and outpatient settings, correctional facilities, schools, etc. —

Dr. Linehan recently revealed that she suffered from severe mental illness and was hospitalized as a young woman. —The first manuals were published in 1993 and updated in 2014 and worksheets/handouts are available online. Trainings and certification are offered through Behavioral Tech/The Linehan Institute. Dialectics: bringing two opposing ideas together to create a new idea.


Traditional DBT includes:
•  —individual psychotherapy
•  —group skills training
—•  team consultation
—•  allow the clients to call in 24/7 for support

DBT skills training groups and teaching skills on an individual basis is less rigorous and an effective intervention. —Group usually is 2.5 hours long, often starts with a mindfulness activity, reviews homework from previous session, and teaches a new skill from a rotation of the 4 modules. —Individual sessions often focus on reviewing the client’s diary card and/or completing a BCA on an event from the previous week. Treatment usually lasts at least 1 year.


—Core Mindfulness. Skills for learning to pay attention to what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. —You can’t change ineffective behavior and feelings if you aren’t aware of what you’re feeling or doing.

Interpersonal Effectiveness—. Skills for learning to effectively: —interact with other;  —get what one needs; —say “no”; and —deal with conflict, stress, and loneliness.

—Emotion Regulation. Skills for coping with difficult emotions, mood-dependent behavior, and reducing emotional vulnerability.

Distress Tolerance. Crisis survival skills: for temporarily distracting and escaping the “crisis” situation. Reality acceptance skills: for non-judgmentally accepting reality for what it is and finding meaning in suffering. New skills added for addiction issues.


•  —Behavior Chain Analysis: helps client and therapist take an in depth look at the ineffective behavior from a given situation. —
•  Diary Card: helps client keep track of their goals and how often they’re using their skills.