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Kitchener campus  Kitchener

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan for complex mental health clients engaging in suicidal behaviour; it is the only evidenced-based intervention for borderline personality disorder. More recently, DBT has been adapted for the adult and adolescent population that struggle with other disorders of emotion dysregulation, such as substance use, bipolar, binge eating disorder, and other mood disorders. DBT is focused on increasing people’s ability to manage and tolerate their emotions more effectively, deal with distressing situations without making them worse, and forming and sustaining healthier interpersonal relationships. It accomplishes this through a comprehensive treatment modality that is housed within a strong and genuine therapeutic relationship.

DBT is comprised of four independent, yet interconnected, modes of intervention:

  • individual therapy
  • skills training
  • coaching
  • consultation teams

Held in-class in Kitchener, this program will help you understand the functional rationale for each of these modes of intervention, as well as have an opportunity to practice the skills through role plays and group work and begin to apply this knowledge to real world examples and case studies.

Completion Requirements

To complete the DBT Certificate, you must complete the following workshops:

  • An Introduction to DBT
  • DBT Assessment and Case Conceptualization
  • DBT Individual Therapy
  • DBT Coaching and Consultation Team
  • DBT Skills Training: Part 1
  • DBT Skills Training: Part 2
  • DBT Therapy Destroying Behaviours

These workshops can be taken in any order. However, it should be noted that the best experience is to follow the order that has been outlined above to maximize the learning; each workshop builds upon the prerequisite skills of the one before. If this is not feasible at a minimum, An Introduction to DBT (or an approved equivalent) is a prerequisite to all other workshops, which are advanced level trainings that build on the knowledge in the introduction workshop.

You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years. You do not have to be working toward the DBT Certificate to take any of these courses.

DBT Certification

After completing this certificate, you will not be allowed to identify yourself as a certified DBT therapist. The only approved DBT certification is through the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification. We have designed this certificate to meet the educational requirements of the certification process, as well as to begin to prepare you for the certification exam. Please see the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification website for complete details about DBT certification.

Becoming a Therapist

Completing this DBT certificate will not qualify you to register with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers or the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Please visit those websites for information on becoming a therapist in Ontario.

Courses

An Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) was initially developed for individuals with complex mental health problems and engaging in suicidal behaviour. It is the only evidenced-based intervention for borderline personality disorder. In the last decade DBT has been adapted to a wider range of severe emotional dysregulation disorders (bipolar, binge eating disorder) and effectively applied within a wide range of clinical settings (forensic, school, hospital, residential). DBT focuses on improving client’s ability to tolerate intense emotions, manage distressing situations without making them worse, improve interpersonal effectiveness and increase mindfulness skills all within a comprehensive, multi-mode treatment modality.

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Explain the main theories that inform DBT.
  • Describe the structure and modes of treatment of DBT.
  • Review the 5 modules of DBT Skills Group.
  • Explain dialectics and validation and its role within the treatment.
  • Describe stylistic strategies of DBT.

DBT Assessment and Case Conceptualization

In dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), case conceptualization uses the principles and the protocols of the treatment to assess client goals and behaviours, develop a targeted treatment plan, and provide accurate interventions that ultimately bring the client to his/her life worth living goals. Case conceptualization in DBT is an iterative process, starting with the initial assessment and continuing to be refined through the beginning stages of treatment. The purpose of this workshop is to guide participants in how to conduct a comprehensive DBT assessment during the first four sessions of adherent DBT therapy in order to increase the effectiveness of therapy thereafter.

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand stages of treatment.
  • Develop target hierarchy.
  • Apply biosocial theory to assessment procedures.
  • Conduct behaviour chain analysis.
  • Use validation and dialectical thinking effectively during assessment interviews.
  • Identify key controlling variables for target problems and map evidenced-based change strategies.

Prerequiste: An Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (or an approved equivalent).

DBT Individual Therapy

  • Dates: Dec. 16 and 17, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Instructor: Elisha Van Harte, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

In DBT, individual therapy is one of the four modes of treatment delivery. Its primary functions are to maintain client motivation and commitment to treatment, individualize change strategies to specific client’s case formulation, and effectively respond to suicidal crises and therapy interfering behaviours all while maintaining a strong therapeutic alliance.

At the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Effectively use DBT commitment to develop and strengthen client motivation and commitment.
  • Structure individual therapy sessions.
  • Understand and implement dialectical strategies to respond to impasse in treatment.
  • Balance irreverent and reciprocal forms of communication.

Prerequiste: An Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (or an approved equivalent).

DBT Coaching and Consultation Team

  • Dates: Feb. 5 and 6, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Instructor: Elisha Van Harte, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

Two key issues while working with high risk and highly complex clients is how to ensure generalization of therapeutic change within the client’s natural environment and how to reduce the likelihood of burnout within the therapist. Phone coaching, one of the four modes of DBT intervention, provides clients with the support they need to effectively manage high arousal situations without engaging in problematic behaviour. The DBT consultation team is what is affectionately (and accurately) referred to as “therapy for the therapist,” whereby all the same tenets of DBT individual therapy are integrated into a team meeting format that effectively supports DBT clinicians in maintaining their own commitment and adherence to the principles and protocols of the treatment.

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Develop their own limits around phone coaching.
  • Explain the purpose and principles of phone coaching to clients.
  • Understand how to use various DBT acceptance and change strategies in short-term coaching applications.
  • Understand the structure, roles and principles that guide consultation team.
  • Learn how to adequately prepare for consultation team.
  • Role play implementation of an actual consultation team meeting.

Prerequiste: An Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (or an approved equivalent).

DBT Skills Training: Part One

  • Dates: April 8 and 9, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Instructor: Elisha Van Harte, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

A core mode of intervention within DBT is the skills group, whereby clients are taught more skillful ways to regulate their emotions, effectively manage the distressing situations in their lives, and improve and maintain relationships with the people around them. These skills are taught in a weekly skills group for adults and in a multi-family skills group for the adolescent population. There is currently evidence that supports decreases in problematic behaviour and increases in adaptive coping by implementing skills group as a stand-alone intervention; this has resulted even in the application of DBT Skills within the education system.

By the end of Part One, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the mode and function of skills training within the overall treatment framework.
  • Understand the difference between “group therapy” and DBT skills group.
  • Clearly define the different roles of skills group.
  • Effectively prepare and implement the structure (including contingency) of skills group.
  • Teach mindfulness and emotion regulation skills.

Prerequiste: An Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (or an approved equivalent).

DBT Skills Training: Part Two

  • Dates: May 7 and 8, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Instructor: Elisha Van Harte, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

A core mode of intervention within DBT is the skills group, whereby clients are taught more skillful ways to regulate their emotions, effectively manage the distressing situations in their lives, and improve and maintain relationships with the people around them. These skills are taught in a weekly skills group for adults and in a multi-family skills group for the adolescent population. There is currently evidence that supports decreases in problematic behaviour and increases in adaptive coping by implementing skills group as a stand-alone intervention; this has resulted even in the application of DBT Skills within the education system.

By the end of Part Two, participants will be able to:

  • Teach distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and walking the middle path skills.
  • Deal with therapy interfering behaviour within skills group, including lack of home practice completion.
  • Understand the role of diary cards in group and how to use them effectively.

Prerequiste: An Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (or an approved equivalent).

DBT Therapy Destroying Behaviours

  • Dates: June 2 and 3, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $330
  • Location: Kitchener
  • Instructor: Elisha Van Harte, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 12

Treating high risk, complex clients is challenging in its own right. When clients engage in dysfunctional behaviours within treatment that challenge the therapists it can be incredibly difficult to continue with effective treatment. This workshop is designed to help therapists identify and respond to client behaviours that interfere with treatment, and behaviours that burn out therapists.

By the end of this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Describe the theory and assumptions of therapy interfering behaviour.
  • Balance acceptance/validation strategies with change strategies in a dialectical style.
  • Orient the client to therapy interfering behaviours and how they will be responded to in session.
  • Identify and accurately categorize behaviours that interfere with therapy.
  • Articulate and communicate limits to clients.
  • Understand how to extend limits in a consistent manner.
  • Understand how to respond to clients who refuse to change therapy interfering behaviour, or how to respond to your own emotional dysregulation.

Prerequiste: An Introduction to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (or an approved equivalent).

Contact Us:

Lynne Jordan, Coordinator, Professional Development

E: ljordan@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x5265

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