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Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training™

Level 3
New York, NY — co-hosted by Columbia University School of Social Work
Part 1: August 19-23, 2019
Part 2: January 6-10, 2020
Trainers: Randy Wolbert LMSW, CAADC, CCS & Gwen Abney-Cunningham, LMSW

Training Description

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training™ is a ten-day course designed for those who have begun learning DBT® methods from self-guided study of the treatment manuals and introductory workshops. This training is intended for teams that are invested in learning DBT to a high standard in order to better implement the treatment in their settings.

As DBT is a treatment that requires an ongoing consultation team, the Intensive Training is designed for treatment teams, not individual practitioners intending to practice alone.

A DBT team (minimum of 3*, maximum of 8) is a group of mental health professionals who meets at least weekly to assist each other in applying DBT in their practice setting. With the intent to provide the highest quality training experience, it is our goal to have a maximum of eight teams for each Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training™. Teams should discuss and clarify their level of commitment prior to completing their application as course enrollment is limited, and there is a competitive demand for Intensive Training.

Training is conducted in two five-day sessions of instruction divided by six to nine months of home study. In Part 1, lectures, videotapes, and small group exercises are used to teach DBT theory and strategies in-depth. Between the first and second sessions, participants consolidate and apply what they have learned with the help of practice assignments. Between sessions, teams design and begin to implement their own DBT programs or to integrate DBT into an ongoing treatment setting. In Part 2, each team presents their work and receives expert consultation on specific cases and on their program, including protocols for specific treatment problems and adaptations of DBT.

The DBT Intensive Training involves rigorous preparation, training, and homework. Part 1 and Part 2 are both five full days of training. The course is designed to model basic elements of the treatment in an experiential way and to foster team development. Just as DBT requires clients to make a full commitment to treatment and to attend all sessions, DBT training requires Intensive participants to attend the entire training, do their best to learn the material, and participate in a willing, committed manner.

Training Objectives

Part 1:

  • Participate in a DBT Consultation Team.
  • Demonstrate Consultation Team strategies used in DBT.
  • List the modes, the functions, and the typical treatment agreements made in DBT.
  • Implement the structure, goals, and stages of DBT.
  • Teach the four DBT® skills modules (Core Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance).
  • Explain the diagnosis of Biosocial Model of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other severe disorders in all required treatment contexts.
  • Create DBT treatment plans for clients using targeting procedures.
  • Explain the dialectical nature of DBT.
  • Demonstrate how dialectics are used in DBT.
  • Conduct Cue Exposure and Response Prevention.
  • List the steps in Problem-Solving.
  • Conduct complete Behavioral Chain Analyses and solution analyses.
  • Implement the Cognitive-Behavioral strategies in DBT.
  • Identify the levels of validation and the contexts in which they apply.
  • Demonstrate the use of validation to balance the change strategies in treatment.
  • Demonstrate the different communication strategies of DBT.
  • Implement the DBT case management strategies.
  • Implement telephone coaching and other generalization strategies of DBT.
  • Apply suicide crisis protocols of DBT.
  • Discuss the DBT research for different populations.

Part 2:

  • Demonstrate comprehension of important concepts in DBT.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply important concepts in DBT.
  • Demonstrate the ability to appropriately apply DBT strategies in my own cases and appropriately evaluate the use of DBT strategies in others’ cases.
  • Demonstrate use of DBT commitment strategies.
  • Identify in-session dysfunctional behaviors and use DBT strategies to treat them.
  • Use DBT strategies to better manage skills training problems.
  • Identify team problems and use DBT strategies to resolve them.
  • Design DBT service programs, appropriately implementing and modifying DBT protocols for my particular setting and patient population.
  • Formulate plans to evaluate my program/services.
  • Discuss the take-home exam assigned in Part 1 and consequently better understand important concepts in DBT.
  • Discuss homework assignments involving the application of the treatment and consequently better understand how to apply the treatment.
  • Understand and apply the treatment after my team’s program presentation.
  • Use techniques for strengthening and using the DBT consultation team.
  • Practice the techniques of DBT by role-playing, as coached by the instructors and be better able to describe and apply treatment strategies.
  • Teach mindfulness skills, interpersonal skills, and emotion regulation skills as detailed in the DBT skills training manual.
  • View and discuss videotaped segments of DBT as modeled by expert therapists and be better able to describe and apply treatment strategies.
  • Understand and apply the treatment after my team’s case presentation.


General Schedule for Parts 1 & 2:
8:30 9:00 Registration, Sign-In
9:00 10:00 Mindfulness
10:00 10:45 Morning Session 1
11:00 12:30 Morning Session 2
1:30 2:45 Afternoon Session 1
3:00 4:15 Afternoon Session 2
4:30 5:20 Closing Session; Assign Homework
5:20 5:30 Q & A/ Evaluation, Sign-Out



Randy Wolbert, LMSW, CAADC, CCS

Randy Wolbert, LMSW, CAADC, CCS is a DBT trainer with Behavioral Tech.  Randy has been practicing DBT since 1995 and was a contractual trainer with BTECH since 1998 and transitioned to a full time trainer/consultant in 2015. Randy trains and consults widely throughout the United States and Canada, assisting with several large scale public mental health system implementations. Prior to joining Behavioral Tech full-time, Randy served as Clinical Director of InterAct of Michigan for 25 years, and had responsibility for the clinical and administrative oversite of Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), DBT, Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment and outpatient substance abuse. While learning and practicing DBT, he began independent mindfulness practice and later became a Zen student of Marsha Linehan. He has attended numerous Zen retreats. He also is engaged in further study of Zen with Greg Mayers, Rōshi, at Mercy Center of San Francisco. Randy has held mindfulness workshops teaching applications for personal and professional practice in University and clinical settings including Chile and Argentina.  He has also lead several mindfulness retreats (Zen Sesshins). Randy was recognized by Willigis Jaeger as a Zen teacher in 2016 and was confirmed as a Zen teacher (Sensei) in 2018 by Marsha Linehan.  He has been granted permission to take Zen students, give Zen dharma talks, and lead Zen Sesshins. Recently, he authored the chapter, “Modifying behavior therapy to meet the challenge of treating BPD: Incorporating Zen and Mindfulness.” In M. A. Swales (Ed). Oxford Handbook of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gwen Abney-Cunningham, LMSW

Kalamazoo, MI (United States) Gwen Abney-Cunningham, LMSW, is the DBT Services Supervisor at InterAct of Michigan, Inc. Ms. Abney-Cunningham received her Bachelors degree from Hope College and her MSW from Grand Valley State University. She has 25 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 and national 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 14 years. Gwen has also has served on the Behavioral Tech Trainer Advisory Committee and is currently on the Behavioral Tech Implementation Science Workgroup.


All team members must read the following prior to Part 1:

The DBT Intensive Training is designed to help attendees build an effective treatment program. DBT is a treatment that requires an ongoing consultation team. Therefore, the training is only open to teams consisting of three to eight people. Individuals and teams of less than three will not be accepted. Each team member is expected to attend the entire ten days of training.



31 available
Application Fee, DBT Intensive$50.00App fee - Please send us your application within 7 days of submitting your app fee, or your app fee will be cancelled and we will not reserve your seat. Find the application link below

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3 team members $11,000 per team
4 team members $11,000 per team
5 team members $13,750 per team
6 team members $16,500 per team
7 team members $19,250 per team
8 team members $22,000 per team

Application Form

You may pay for the application fee (to indicate your interest) by adding an App Fee ticket to your cart and completing the checkout process. Please note that we will cancel your application fee if we do not receive your application form(s) within 7 days of app-fee payment.

Please have one of your team members submit all completed team and individual applications together to info@behavioraltech.org. We prefer typed applications.

Download Individual Application (complete one per team member)

Download the Team Application (complete one per team)

Acceptance Notification

We will review applications in the order they are received. Applicants will be notified of acceptance no later than July 1, 2019.

Tuition Payment Terms

Your tuition payment is due upon receipt of the invoice; if payment is not received, we may release your space to another applicant. Please contact us at 206.675.8588 to discuss any extenuating circumstances affecting your prompt payment. Application fees and tuition are non-refundable.

Prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. We accept credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express), U.S. checks, and bank transfers. All payments must be in U.S. funds; we are unable to accept foreign checks. Please contact Customer Service at 206.675.8588 or at info@behavioraltech.org for more information about ACH or wire transfer payment options.

Due to the comprehensive nature of this training, there are no cancellations or substitutions available. If extenuating circumstances arise that prevent full attendance, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation. We will do our best to provide alternative options for completing training curriculum.

For a complete list of Behavioral Tech policies and limits of liability, see policies.

Seat Availability for Onsite Events

The number of seats for our open-enrollment workshops and our application-based trainings is limited by the physical training space that is reserved for the event. Please complete your registration or submit your application at your earliest convenience, as we will not guarantee a seat for you until we have received your registration or tuition payment.

Special Accommodations

If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Behavioral Tech at 206.675.8588 four weeks prior to the training so that we may provide you with appropriate service.

Venue Information

Co-hosted by: Columbia University School of Social Work

Training Location:

Columbia University School of Social Work
1255 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027

Continuing Education

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 CE@behavioraltech.org.

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. Partial credits cannot be issued.

Specific CE Approval Statements coming soon.