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Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills: Introduction
Live, Remote, Instructor-led
September 20 – 23, 2022
Trainer: Gwen Abney-Cunningham, LMSW
This live remote instructor-led program consists of eight 90-minute modules delivered online for a total of 12 instructor-led hours. Each module includes reading and homework tasks. Total participant time required for each module is approximately 2.5 -3 hours. The modular nature of this course allows us to customize it to the schedule of our clients. Quizzes are included in each module, and are repeated as a final knowledge test at the end of the program.
Research indicates that DBT skills are a key mechanism of change for suicide attempts, non-suicidal self-injury, depression, and anger, and multiple randomized control trials have shown DBT skills to be effective for a variety of problems, including depression, emotion dysregulation, binge eating, and borderline personality disorder.
This introduction to DBT Skills Training introduces Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills: Core Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Participants learn about the function of skills training in DBT, the structure of a DBT skills training program, the goals and general content of each skills module, and the targets for DBT skills training. It also provides an overview of the manner in which DBT conceptualizes problems, as well as the behavior change, validation, and dialectical strategies used across all modes of the treatment. Clinical examples are used to illustrate specific skills training procedures. Video of roundtable discussions of DBT experts, and demonstrations of a skills training class are incorporated.
The course is designed for all mental health professionals who want to learn DBT skills to improve their work with their clients. Prior knowledge of DBT is not required; however, learning will be enhanced if participants are familiar with Dr. Marsha Linehan’s 1993 text, Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, and the 2015 DBT Skills Training Manual, Second Edition. Participants should have the latter available during the course.
This course is a precursor to the world of DBT skills training. Those who want to fully implement a DBT skills training program are invited to follow this course with the DBT Skills Training: Fundamentals, which provides in-depth training in acquisition, strengthening, and generalization procedures of DBT skills. DBT skills training is one of 4 modes of standard outpatient DBT. For those who want to implement a full DBT program we recommend completion of the comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training.
As a result of this training participants will be able to describe the key elements of DBT skills training.
- Utilize evidence on DBT skills training to determine curriculum appropriate for treatment setting and
- Describe the function of DBT skills training.
- Identify the targets for DBT skills training.
- Describe the four DBT skills modules.
- Identify the strategies and procedures required for effective DBT skills training.
- Define the roles of the leader and co-leader in DBT skills training.
- Describe the dialectical nature of DBT skills.
- Describe the dialectical nature of DBT skills training.
- Identify what is valid in actions, cognitions, and emotions of patients.
- Identify what is invalid in actions, cognitions, and emotions of patients.
- Convey to patients what is valid in their actions, cognitions, and emotions.
- Describe key concepts related to increasing desired behaviors and decreasing unwanted behaviors.
- Describe strategies that can be used to pull new behaviors from clients.
- Identify the goals of DBT Mindfulness skills.
- Identify the contents of the DBT Mindfulness skills module.
- Identify the goals of DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness skills.
- Identify the contents of the DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness skills module.
- Identify the goals of the DBT Emotion Regulation skills.
- Identify the contents of the DBT Emotion Regulation skills module.
- Identify the contents of the goals of DBT Distress Tolerance skills.
- Identify the contents of the DBT Distress Tolerance skill module.
September 20 – 23, 2022
8:30am – 12:00pm Central Time / 6:30am – 10:00am Pacific Time / 9:30am – 1:00pm Eastern Time
Sign-in from 8:00am – 8:30am Central Time / 6:00am – 6:30am Pacific Time / 9:00am – 9:30am Eastern Time
Schedule includes 30-minute break each day
Gwen Abney-Cunningham, LMSW
Kalamazoo, MI (United States) Gwen Abney-Cunningham, LMSW, is currently a fulltime Behavioral Tech consultant and trainer. Prior to coming to Behavioral Tech full time, she was employed at a community mental health agency for 32 years, in many roles, including; DBT Services Supervisor, Outpatient Services Director, and most recently as Evidenced Based Treatment Director. Ms. Abney-Cunningham received her Bachelor’s degree from Hope College and her MSW from Grand Valley State University. She has 30 plus years of professional experience and is a member of one of the first teams in the U.S. to apply DBT within an ACT program. Ms. Abney-Cunningham is intensively trained in DBT and an experienced workshop leader at state, national, and international conferences. Ms. Abney-Cunningham’s experience in DBT includes individual and skills training for adults, adolescents and families and providing DBT supervision to clinicians. In addition, she has assisted in the development and implementation of DBT on ACT teams and in outpatient settings. Gwen has been involved with the large-scale implementations of DBT in Michigan for Community Mental Health settings. She has been a Behavioral Tech trainer for 20 years. Gwen has also served on the Behavioral Tech Trainer Advisory Committee and the Behavioral Tech Implementation Science Workgroup.
All participants should have access to a copy of the DBT Skills Training Manual: Second Edition.
The readings pertinent to workshops on DBT Skills Training can be found in the primary text listed below. Each DBT provider should have access to a copy.
Primary text for DBT skills training:
- Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Manual: Second Edition. The Guilford Press.
Supplemental reading for DBT skills training with adolescents and their families:
- Rathus, J. H., & Miller, A.L. (2015). DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents. The Guilford Press.
A note for those who work with adolescents and their families:
- Our training models extensively reference sections of Dr. Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Manual, 2nd Edition (2015). This book comprises most of the reading assignments in our trainings. The reason for this is that it is a comprehensive treatment of DBT skills, including key treatment concepts, core strategies and procedures, and variations on the structure of skills training based on studies with different lengths of treatment. Moreover, the RCTs with adolescents that were conducted by Lars Mehlum et al in Norway, and Linehan et al at the University of Washington and UCLA were based on the material in this manual.
- Many who have worked with adolescents prefer handouts that are presented differently than those in the second edition of Dr. Linehan’s manual. Those persons may wish to use the handouts from DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents (2015) by Drs. Jill Rathus and Alec Miller as an adjunct to the Linehan skills manual with their adolescent patients. They may also find the background material contained in the Rathus and Miller volume a helpful adjunct in learning to deliver the skills to adolescents and their families.
- Standard Tuition: $325 per participant (U.S. dollars)
- Registration will close when all seats are sold, or on August 30, 2022 (final cut-off date).
IMPORTANT: Two weeks prior to the training, participants will receive an email from our Online Portal (powered by Thinkific) with a sign-in URL for this training. Please follow the instructions in the email to log in to our Online Portal and set your password, prior to Day 1 of the training.
Participants will retain access to the online course until 1 month after the last training session date. All course requirements must be completed before course access expires.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about accessing your training.
Cancellations, Substitutions and Refunds
For a complete list of Behavioral Tech policies and limits of liability, see our Sales & Refund Policy page.
- Our Online Portal (powered by Thinkific) will be used to host the live Zoom sessions and share supplemental materials. All Live-Remote Trainings require each participant to have:
- A high-speed Internet Service Connection with a minimum speed of 5Mbps. Test your internet speed.
- The most recent version of any of the following web-browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox , Safari , Microsoft Edge (Please note Internet Explorer will not be supported)
- The following software applications: Zoom, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, A PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, or the ability to view PDFs in a web-browser. To test your internet connection, camera, and microphone for Zoom, you can use Zoom’s testing application.
- No firewall restrictions. If a firewall is installed, please be aware that may interfere with the training content and materials, as it may be blocked. Please include the following 3rd party services to trusted sites list(s):
This offering meets the requirements for the following hours by discipline. Licensing and continuing education requirements vary by state. Please contact your state’s regulatory authority to verify if this course meets your licensing or continuing education requirements. Inquiries regarding CE for other disciplines not listed may be directed to Behavioral Tech at (206) 675-8589 or via email to email@example.com. And for general CE questions, you can review answers to continuing education FAQs or contact us.
CE NOTE: Behavioral Tech calculates the continuing education credits for this training by the start time and end time. 100 percent attendance is required, as is signing IN and OUT each morning and afternoon, to receive CE credits. Only participants with 100% attendance, and who have completed the Post-Event Evaluation and passed their Final Exam with a score of 70% or higher will receive credit. Behavioral Tech cannot offer partial credit. Please remember to sign in and sign out each day to document your attendance. Continuing Education documentation will be emailed to you 4-6 weeks after the last day of training.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
Behavioral Tech is approved by NAADAC – the Association for Addiction Professionals, Provider #77431. You will receive a letter via email documenting your attendance upon successful completion of the activity. The allotted contact hours for this activity = 12.
Mental Health Counselors
Behavioral Tech is approved by an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP™) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.
Behavioral Tech will email you a letter documenting your attendance upon the successful completion of the activity. The allocated clock hours for this activity = 12.
Behavioral Tech is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Nurses should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Continuing Medical Education is accepted by the ANCC for nursing certification renewal. The maximum AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ designated by Behavioral Tech for this activity = 12
Behavioral Tech is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. The maximum AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ designated by Behavioral Tech for this activity = 12.
Behavioral Tech is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Behavioral Tech maintains responsibility for the program and its content. Behavioral Tech will email you a letter documenting your attendance after the successful completion of the program and homework. The number of hours Behavioral Tech has allocated within APA guidelines = 12.
Psychologists – New York
Behavioral Tech is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists, #PSY-0063. Behavioral Tech will email a certificate of attendance upon 100% completion of this activity. The total contact hour allocated for this activity = 12.
Social Workers- Washington
Behavioral Tech will apply to the NASW, Washington State Chapter, Provider Number 1975-166, to offer continuing education for Certified Social Workers. Behavioral Tech will email a certificate of attendance upon 100% completion of this activity. The hours of CE allocated for this activity = 12.
Social Workers – New York
Behavioral Tech is approved by recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers, #0040. Behavioral Tech will email a letter documenting attendance to participants with 100% completion of the program and homework. The hours allocated for this activity = 12.
General CE/CME Disclosures and Policies
Conflict of interest definition: A conflict of interest may be considered to exist if a continuing education course faculty is affiliated with, or has any significant financial interest, in any organization(s) that may have a direct interest in the subject matter of the presentation or may be co-sponsoring or offering financial support to the course. Situations involving a potential conflict of interest are not inherently bad or wrong, but in accordance with standards for continuing medical education we would like you to be aware of the affiliation/financial interest of your instructors.
Faculty Disclaimer: When an unlabelled use of a commercial product, or an investigative use not yet approved for any purpose is discussed during an educational activity, we shall require the speaker to disclose that the product is not labeled for the use under discussion or that the product is still investigative.
Notice of requirements for successful completion: For all trainings (both in-person and remote), participants must attend 100% of the training and complete the Final Evaluation to receive a certificate of successful completion. This includes signing in and out each day/session of the event. For remote, Instructor-led online training, participants have to pass the Post Assessment(s) with a score of 70% or higher.
Commercial support or sponsorship: There is no commercial company support for this CME/CE event.
Noncommercial Sponsor Support: There is no noncommercial sponsor support for this CME/CE activity.
Non-Endorsement of Products: The Behavioral Tech approval status refers only to continuing education activities and does not imply that there is real or implied endorsement of any product, service, or company referred to in this activity nor of any company subsidizing costs related to the activity.
Off-Label Product Use: This CME/CE activity does not include any unannounced information about off-label use of a product for a purpose other than that for which it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships: Faculty members are required to disclose all conflicts of interest and any relevant financial relationships that may affect the training content. Unless specified on Behavioral Tech’s website or on other printed materials/media, none of the individuals in a position to control the content of this CE/CME activity (including planners, editors, CE/CME Review Committee members, faculty presenters, moderators/facilitators, reviewers, etc.) have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.
CE Reprint Policy: For missing/lost CE documentation, an administrative fee of $50 is required for all CE/CME activities after 2017. For CE reprints prior to 2017, please refer to the website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to the CE FAQ webpage: https://behavioraltech.org/resources/faqs/continuing-education/.
Tentative Upcoming Events:
The following event details are subject to change. Events will be published to this webpage when tickets are available.
- November 8 – 11, 2022: DBT Skills Training: Introduction
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