For other therapists & providers

Why is DBT Skills Group Mandatory?

DBT Skills Group is an ESSENTIAL ELEMENT of any DBT Program. Gold Standard DBT - with Individual DBT Therapy, Phone Coaching, Consultation and DBT Skills Group -  is the MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD for reducing Suicide Attempts and Ideation, Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, and for improvement in Depression, Anxiety and the Capacity to Control Anger. Studies show, however, that DBT Skills Group, added to ANY individual therapy, leads to better outcomes than 1:1 therapy alone.

DBT Skills Group works! In DBT Group clients intentionally learn Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills in a safe and understandable way.  Attending DBT Skills Group is an exposure intervention in itself – a place where Clients are more likely to feel accepted and validated as part of a group of people they can relate to, more likely to truly learn and understand the skills, and more likely to practice and use the skills “in the moment” when they are needed.

DBT Skills Group is NOT a group where Clients are expected to disclose personal information or a place to discuss or glorify harmful behaviors. It is a safe place for all to learn and support each other in the quest to “build a life worth living”.

How can Outside Therapists support their Clients learning DBT?

Outside therapists can support their Clients by buying the “DBT Skills Training Manual and Worksheets” book by Marsha Linehan and following along with what their clients are learning - making every effort to reinforce skill use. It is optimal that they ask their Clients to track Events/Emotions/Thoughts/Urges/Behaviors on Diary Cards and that they “Chain” Crisis times.

Outside Therapists: If you continue to see your client individually, you are acting as the LEAD THERAPIST in their care. Their DBT Skills Group Leaders are not responsible for managing your client’s symptoms.

For Outside Therapists with Chronically or Acutely Suicidal Clients: We ask that you strongly consider taking a “Vacation” from your Clients, and refer them for Gold Standard DBT at DBT Eastside, so that your Clients can get Individual DBT Therapy, 24-Hour Phone Coaching and the advantages of Team Consultation.