DBT Group Skills Training

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12-week Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Group Skills Training for Adolescents and Adults.

We all struggle from time to time with our mental health and relationships. However, some people experience these struggles so severely and frequently, that it fundamentally affects their wellbeing and safety. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed to assist those experiencing extreme difficulty in relationships, decision-making and emotion regulation. Although DBT is best known for assisting those with Borderline Personality Disorder, it has also been consistently effective for those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Clinical Depression and those engaging in self-harm and suicidality1. DBT is a broad system of therapeutic treatments that significantly reduce the rates of suicidality and hospital admissions2. One of the most important components of the treatments is the group skills training3. The Three Seas Group are now conducting a 12-week DBT Group Skills Training Program for adolescents and adults. The program will cover the four key components of DBT: mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.

The program is run in a classroom format, where practical and effective skills are taught through psycho-education. Unlike other group therapies, DBT skills training is heavily structured, involves minimal personal divulging and no discussion of self-harm/suicidal attempts. The program aims to promote happiness and stability by assisting the participants to create a life worth living. The skills they learn in the program are specifically designed to assist them in different areas of life including relationships, work and safety.

How long will the program take?

The program will run over twelve weeks, consisting of weekly two and a half hour sessions. It is expected that participants will attend the entire program. Our group has a strong focus on skills application.

Who should attend the course?

Those seeking effective life skills to assist in managing Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and/or self-harm and suicidality.

When will the program occur?

The Adult program (18+ years) will occur on Thursdays between 10am and 12:30pm in the CBD. Please call 98091000 register your interest.

Our Adolescent program (15-17 years) commenced on the 18th of May 2022 (4pm – 6:30pm) at our Northcote office. You are welcome to join mid-course once a new module is started. Please call 98091000 for more information.

How much the course cost?

The course will cost $60 per session over 12 weeks, the total cost being $720. A 50% deposit ($360) is payable at the time of booking, and the balance ($360) is payable on the day of the first session. Please note, the deposit is non-refundable within 7 days of program commencement.

Should I get a Mental Health Care Plan?

The program will most likely be run by two experienced provisional psychologists. In that case, there is no rebate available. However, if a general or clinical psych is present, the fee will become $82.55 per session and you can receive a Medicare rebate of $22.55. In either case the out pocket expense will be $60. We would encourage you to get a Mental Health Care Plan, in case a Clinical or General psychologist is present.

Where can I find out more or book?

Please call our Client Connect Team on 9809 1000 to discuss further or to book in for our next in-take.

Does the program include individual sessions with a Psychologist?

Individual sessions with a psychologist can be an effective addition to the DBT Skills Program. However, it is not included in the program. If it is of interest to you, we recommend for participants to consider attending individual therapy outside the skills training for additional support, main treatment planning, crisis management and of course further skills acquisition, generalization and rehearsal.

Program Structure (per week):

Mindfulness (2 weeks) 

1. Introduction to DBT skills training, Life worth living goals and values, 3 states of mind.

2. What and How skills.

Emotion Regulation (4 weeks)

3. Understanding and describing emotions and the model of emotion, mindfulness of current emotion.

4. Accumulating positive events short and long term (+values and goals)

5. Building mastery, coping ahead and taking care of your body (PLEASE)

6. Options for problem solving, checking the facts and opposite action.

Distress Tolerance (4 weeks).

7. Crisis survival skills: STOP, TIPP and pros and cons

8. Distracting: ACCEPTS, improving the moment and self-soothing.

9. Radical acceptance and turning the mind.

10. Willingness and mindfulness of current thoughts.

Interpersonal Effectiveness ( 2 weeks)

11. Goals for interpersonal effectiveness with DEAR MAN, GIVE and FAST skills + mindfulness of others

12. Dialectics, validation and self-validation.

Please call our Client Connect Team on 9809 1000 to discuss further or to book in for our next in-take.


(1) McCauley E, Berk MS, Asarnow JR, et al. Efficacy of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents at High Risk for Suicide: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(8):777–785. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.1109

(2) Behavioral Tech. (2021). What is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)? Behavioral Tech – Training, Continuing Education in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). https://behavioraltech.org/resources/faqs/dialectical-behavior-therapy-dbt/

(3) Mehlum, L. (2021, 2021/02/01/). Mechanisms of change in dialectical behaviour therapy for people with borderline personality disorder. Current Opinion in Psychology, 37, 89-93. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.08.017 

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