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Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training

Level 3
Live, Remote, Instructor-led

Part 1: April 25 – 29, 2022
Part 2:  October 17 – 21, 2022

Trainers: Gwen Abney-Cunningham, LMSW and Debbie Leung, PhD, RPsych

Training Description

Training Description 

Since its initial development in the 1980s DBT has been shown to be effective for an array of problems related to emotion dysregulation. We know severe emotion regulation difficulties result in persons facing multiple problems across many areas of life and that these problems manifest in a variety of ways. The principles of DBT were specifically designed for cases which often present therapists with novel challenges. One of the benefits of a principle-based treatment is that it can be versatile enough to accommodate the specific situations, cultures, and contexts of the persons it serves. DBT has been studied and implemented in multiple countries across the globe. 

DBT Intensive training is a comprehensive team-based program of study designed to provide teams with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide DBT. It focuses on both the establishment of comprehensive DBT programs and the clinical skills necessary to provide the treatment to persons with complex mental health problems. Intensive training in DBT includes 4 hours of content specific to risk assessment, management, and treatment of suicidal behaviors. 

The program is divided into 2 parts that are designed to guide teams to accomplish four phases of DBT program implementation. While Parts 1 and 2 are described separately, they comprise a single program of study.  

Part 1 (30 instructional hours) 

  • Preparation 
  • Knowledge Acquisition 

Part 2 (30 instructional hours) 

  • Implementation  
  • Practice Improvement & Sustainability 

In Part 1, lectures, demonstrations of treatment, and small group exercises are used to teach DBT theory and strategies in-depth. Upon conclusion of Part 1, participants consolidate and apply what they have learned with the help of practice assignments that are intended to guide the implementation process. 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. 

This live remote instructor-led program of study consists of 10 days of training, divided into 2 parts of 5 days each, delivered via video conference embedded in a learning management system (LMS) for a total of 60 instructor-led hours. The typical length of the full course of study is 6 months to 1 year. 

Primary Objective: 

As a result of this training participants will be able to provide DBT. 

Part 1 – Learning Objectives: 

  • Incorporate DBT assumptions about clients, therapists, and therapy into treatment. 
  • Balance change and acceptance in providing consultation.
  • Apply DBT principles and strategies during DBT consultation team meetings. 
  • Increase the motivation and capability of therapists on your consultation team.  
  • Describe how the scientific method is used in both treatment development and conducting DBT. 
  • Use DBT research data to engage stakeholders in DBT. 
  • Adopt and practice a dialectical worldview in treatment and case formulation. 
  • Engage clients in treatment by providing dialectical balance between change and acceptance. 
  • Accurately describe the content of the skills training module: Core Mindfulness.  
  • Convey the rationale for DBT Mindfulness skills. 
  • Explain how Core Mindfulness skills are key (core) to all skills taught in DBT. 
  • Explain the Biosocial Model of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and other severe disorders in all required treatment contexts. 
  • Conceptualize the manner in which suicidal behavior is an attempt by patients to solve problems. 
  • Incorporate hypotheses to include in DBT case formulation based on dialectical dilemmas experienced by persons with borderline personality disorder (duplicate). 
  • Accurately describe the content of the skills training module: Emotion Regulation.  
  • Describe the evidence for the use of DBT Emotions Regulation skills. 
  • Convey the rationale for DBT Emotion Regulation skills. 
  • Describe the functions of comprehensive treatment and the corresponding modes employed in DBT to accomplish these functions. 
  • Describe how levels of disorder and stages of treatment guide treatment planning and targeting. 
  • Identify client’s life goals that can be used as motivation for engaging in DBT. 
  • Structure treatment according to the target hierarchies for each modality (e.g., individual, skills training, phone). 
  • Set target hierarchies for clients with multiple problems. 
  • Complete DBT pre-treatment tasks (e.g., identify client’s goals, orient to DBT, obtain commitments). 
  • Describe the key elements that should be addressed in individual DBT sessions. 
  • Structure individual DBT sessions. 
  • Describe the function of DBT skills training. 
  • Define the roles of the leader and co-leader in DBT skills training. 
  • Explain how to structure a DBT skills training class. 
  • Identify the contents of the DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness skills module. 
  • Describe the evidence for the use of DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness skills. 
  • Convey the rationale for DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness skills. 
  • Identify the contents of the DBT Distress Tolerance skills module. 
  • Describe the evidence for the use of DBT Distress Tolerance skills. 
  • Convey the rationale for DBT Distress Tolerance skills. 
  • Define problem behaviors specifically and behaviorally. 
  • Conduct a chain analysis of an episode of a target behavior. 
  • Conduct missing links analyses of needed behaviors that did not occur. 
  • Describe the DBT problem-solving strategies (skills training, cognitive modification, exposure, contingency management). 
  • Generate and evaluate solutions for specific problematic links from a chain analysis. 
  • Describe the use of validation in DBT. 
  • Implement the levels of validation in DBT. 
  • Engage clients in treatment by providing dialectical balance between change and acceptance. 
  • Employ the dialectical strategies in DBT. 
  • Implement DBT stylistic strategies (reciprocal and irreverent communication). 
  • Assess long-term and acute risk for suicide. 
  • Talk with individuals in a manner that facilitates assessment of suicide risk. 
  • Describe the steps involved in crisis management. 
  • Apply DBT suicide crisis protocols. 
  • Respond to ongoing suicidal behavior during treatment. 
  • Coach clients to generalize skills in all relevant contexts. 
  • More effectively coach clients with skills specific to their needs. 
  • Competently help patients employ difficult-to-use skills. 
  • Implement the DBT case management strategies. 
  • Identify the application of, and limits to, consultation to the client. 
  • Explain the importance of observing personal and professional limits in DBT. 
  • Describe the steps for observing limits in DBT. 

Part 2 – Learning Objectives: 

  • Talk with individuals in a manner that facilitates assessment of suicide risk. 
  • Implement an evidence-based protocol for intervening in suicide crisis situations. 
  • Identify DBT skills for clients to use for specific problems in specific contexts. 
  • Structure team-based consultation sessions. 
  • Determine the best course of clinical application based on consultation and extrapolation from the evidence-base for DBT. 
  • Discuss the 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. 
  • Design DBT service programs, appropriately implementing and modifying DBT protocols for my particular setting and patient population. 
  • Effectively balance adaptation and adoption in implementation of DBT. 
  • Utilize implementation outcome variables to increase the sustainability of DBT programs. 
  • Conceptualize clinical cases and problems from a DBT perspective. 
  • Formulate cases with emotion at the heart of problem behavior. 
  • Engage in DBT case formulation as an iterative means of treatment planning, intervention, and measurement. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply important concepts in DBT. 
  • Write DBT case formulations with behavioral specificity. 
  • Actively participate in a DBT consultation team. 
  • Set targets for DBT consultation team meetings and manage time accordingly. 
  • Balance change and acceptance in providing consultation. 
  • Formulate cases with attention to the transaction of the individual-environment system. 
  • Incorporate the biosocial model of BPD into case formulation. 
  • Conceptualize the manner in which suicidal behavior is an attempt by patients to solve problems. 
  • Describe how levels of disorder and stages of treatment guide treatment planning and targeting. 
  • Link client targets to goals. 
  • Link client’s goals to the tasks of treatment. 
  • Organize DBT sessions based on a target hierarchy for each modality (e.g., individual, skills training). 
  • Overcome obstacles of both therapists and clients in setting treatment goals and targets before starting the treatment. 
  • Define problem behaviors specifically and behaviorally. 
  • Identify the critical variables influencing a problem behavior. 
  • Clarify program elements that support the functions of a comprehensive treatment program. 
  • Evaluate whether a DBT program addresses the 5 functions of comprehensive treatment. 
  • Explain the difference between chain and solution analyses. 
  • Conduct solution analyses. 
  • Identify solutions to address the critical variables influencing problem behaviors. 
  • Select and suggest specific skills to fit a situation or context. 
  • Implement the DBT problem-solving strategies (skills training, cognitive modification, exposure, contingency management). 
  • Evaluate the use of DBT strategies in my own and others’ cases. 
  • Describe the relationship between secondary targets and primary targets. 
  • Determine when to focus on secondary targets (dialectical dilemmas). 
  • Identify options for intervening in secondary targets (dialectical dilemmas). 
  • Identify the application of, and limits to, consultation to the client. 
  • Implement DBT case management strategies (consultation-to-the-client and environmental intervention). 
  • Generate solutions to address barriers to implementing DBT in my program. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate the use of DBT strategies in others’ cases. 
  • View and discuss DBT as modeled by expert therapists (e.g. video, demonstrations) and be better able to describe and apply treatment strategies. 
  • Practice the techniques of DBT via behavioral rehearsal, as coached by the instructors and be better able to describe and apply treatment strategies. 
  • Provide solutions when consulting that are pertinent to the problem and likely to be effective. 
  • Apply the treatment after my team’s case consultation. 
  • Apply DBT principles and strategies during DBT consultation team meetings. 
  • Identify team problems and use DBT strategies to resolve them. 
  • Employ techniques for strengthening the DBT consultation team. 
  • Clarify expected long-term outcomes for my DBT program. 
  • Identify methods of measuring outcomes for my DBT program.

Schedule

Days 1-5

  • 8:30am – 4:00pm Central Time  /  6:30am – 2:00pm Pacific Time  /  9:30am – 5:00pm Eastern Time

Days 6-9

  • 8:30am – 4:30pm Central Time  /  6:30am – 2:30pm Pacific Time  /  9:30am – 5:30pm Eastern Time

Day 10

  • 8:30am – 3:00pm Central Time  /  6:30am – 1:00pm Pacific Time  /  9:30am – 4:00pm Eastern Time

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.

Trainers

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.    

Additional Faculty & Presenters

Debbie Leung, PhD, RPsych

Vancouver, BC (Canada) Debbie Leung, Ph.D., R.Psych received her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University (American Psychological Association-accredited) in New York in 2005 after completing her internship training at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Child, Youth and Family Program) in Toronto. In 2009, Dr. Leung completed a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington, where she received intensive training and supervision in DBT and in research on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Dr. Leung has worked in various clinical settings including outpatient pediatric, inpatient adolescent psychiatry, adult mental health and substance use outpatient services, and community private practice. She is a registered psychologist in British Columbia, Canada and the director and founder of Wise Mind Centre, a community-based group practice that offers evidence-based psychological services such as CBT and comprehensive DBT. She also serves as a consultant of the DBT-informed program at Vancouver General Hospital.

Dr. Leung is a clinical associate of Simon Fraser University and provides supervision to graduate trainees in clinical psychology programs at University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Adler University. In addition to clinical services, Dr. Leung has taught graduate level courses in clinical assessment at the University of British Columbia and undergraduate courses at Kwantlen University. Further, she has presented her research work in parenting and BPD in international conferences and published her work in these areas in peer-reviewed journals. Moreover, she has provided clinical consultations and workshops in DBT and BPD-related topics locally and internationally to other mental health clinicians.

Prerequisites

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

The course is designed for those who have begun learning DBT from self-guided study of the treatment manuals and introductory workshops. It is intended for teams who are invested in learning DBT to a high standard in order to better implement the treatment in their settings. Since DBT is a treatment that requires an ongoing consultation team, the Intensive Training is designed for treatment teams. It is not designed for individual practitioners intending to practice alone.

A DBT team (minimum of 3, maximum of 8) is a group of mental health professionals who meet 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 DBT 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 this training.

Study Resources

This list includes readings that are required for comprehensive training (Foundational or Intensive) in DBT. Each DBT provider should have a personal copy of the primary texts. Bold text corresponds to the abbeviations for the pertinent readings for each module.

Primary texts required for DBT training

  • Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. Guilford Press.
  • Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Manual (2nd ed.). The Guilford Press.
  • Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets (2nd ed.). The Guilford Press.

Additional texts/articles required for comprehensive DBT training

  • Sayrs, J. H. R., & Linehan, M. M. (2019). DBT teams: Development and practice. The Guilford Press.

Behavior Therapy: At least one

  • Farmer, R. F., & Chapman, A. L. (2016). Behavioral interventions in Cognitive Therapy: Practical guidance for putting theory into action (2nd ed.). American Psychological Association.
  • Heard, H. L., & Swales, M. A. (2016). Changing behavior in DBT: Problem solving in action. Guilford Press.
  • Pryor, K. (2002).Don’t shoot the dog: The new art of teaching and training (Revised edition). Ringpress Books Ltd.
  • Ramnerö, J., & Törneke, N. (2008). The ABCs of human behavior: Behavioral principles for the practicing clinician. New Harbinger Publications.

Exposure Procedures: At least one

  • Abramowitz, J. S., Deacon, B. J., & Whiteside, S. P. H. (2019). Exposure therapy for anxiety: principles and practice (2nd ed.). The Guilford Press.
  • Foa, E. B., Chrestman, K. R., & Gilboa-Schechtman, E. (2008). Prolonged exposure therapy for adolescents with PTSD: Emotional processing of traumatic experiences (Therapist Guide). Oxford University Press.

Required for DBT for Adolescents

  • Miller, A. L., Rathus, J. H., & Linehan, M. M. (2006). Dialectical behavior therapy with suicidal adolescents. Guilford Publications.

Specific chapters required for adaptations of DBT

  • Dimeff, L. A., Rizvi, S. L., & Koerner, K. (2021). Dialectical Behavior Therapy in clinical practice: Applications across disorders and settings. The Guilford Press.

Supplemental Readings

  • Aitken, R. (1982). Taking the path of zen. North Point Press.
  • Barlow, D. H. (Ed.). (2007). Clinical handbook of psychological disorders (5th ed.). The Guilford Press.
  • Craske, M. G., Treanor, M., Conway, C. C., Zbozinek, T., & Vervliet, B. (2014). Maximizing exposure therapy: An inhibitory learning approach. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 58, 10–23.
  • Feil, N., & de Klerk-Rubin, V. (2003). V/F validation: The feil method, how to help disoriented old-old. Edward Feil Productions. ISBN 1-878169-00-9
  • Foa, E. B., Hembree, E., & Rothbaum, B. O. (2007). Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD: Emotional processing of traumatic experiences therapist guide (Treatments That Work). Oxford Press.
  • Linehan, M. M., & Schmidt, H. (1995). The dialectics of effective treatment of borderline personality disorder. In W. O. O’Donohue & L. Krasner (Eds.), Theories in Behavior Therapy (pp. 553-584). American Psychological Association.
  • Linehan, M. M. (1997). Validation & psychotherapy. In A. Bohart & L. Greenberg (Eds.). Empathy Reconsidered: New Directions in Psychotherapy (pp. 353–392). American Psychological Association.
  • Rathus, J. H., & Miller, A.L. (2015). DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents. The Guilford Press.
  • Rizvi, S. L. (2019). Chain Analysis in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The Guilford Press.
  • Swales, M.A. (Ed.). (2019). The Oxford Handbook of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Oxford University Press.

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Please designate your Team Lead for the purposes of registering your team members and payment of application fee for all team members. Both applications and payments are made as a group. Once the application fees have been submitted, Team Leads should remind all team members to complete their Individual Applications as soon as possible.

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Behavioral Tech’s Application Review Process

  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Once all spots have been filled, all additional applications will be deferred to the waiting list or to another training.
  • Your Team must submit the full set of applications, 1 Team Application and all Individual Applications for all team members, before your team’s information can be reviewed. Delays in receipt of applications from any member of your team will delay your team’s review process.
  • All application fees must be paid in full for the entire team prior to application review.
  • Acceptances will be sent out by March 3, 2022, or sooner.
  • Accepted teams have 30-days from date of acceptance to pay the tuition in full.

Tuition Information

  • Standard Tuition: $13,995 per team (U.S. dollars)
  • Application fees and tuition are non-refundable.

Cancellations, Substitutions and Refunds: 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 our Sales & Refund Policy page.

Payment Terms: 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 support@behavioraltech.org for more information about ACH or wire transfer payment options.

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.

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.

Please email support@behavioraltech.org if you have any questions about accessing your training.

Technical Requirements

  • 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:

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.

Behavioral Tech calculates the continuing education credits for this training by the start time and end time. 100% attendance is required, as is signing IN and OUT each morning and afternoon, to receive CE credits. A majority of CE Boards do not allow partial credits to be issued. Only participants with 100% attendance, and who have completed the Post-Event Evaluations and passed their Final Exams with a score of 70% or higher for both Part 1 and Part 2 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 the Part 2 training.

Mental Health Counselors
Behavioral Tech is approved as a NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP™), ACEP No. 5885. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Behavioral Tech, LLC, is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. Behavioral Tech will email you a letter documenting your attendance upon successful completion of the activity. The allocated clock hours for this activity = 60.

Psychologists 
Behavioral Tech is approved 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 successful completion of the program and homework. The number of hours Behavioral Tech has allocated within APA guidelines = 60.

Social Workers- WA 
Behavioral Tech will apply 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 = 60.

Social Workers – NY 
Behavioral Tech is approved 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 = 60.

Nurses (online training) 
Behavioral Tech is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Nurses should only claim credit commensuratewith 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 = 60.

Psychiatrists (online training) 
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 = 60.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)
Behavioral Tech is approved by NAADAC – the Association for Addiction Professionals, Provider #77431. Behavioral Tech, LLC is responsible for all aspects of the programing. You will receive a letter via email documenting your attendance upon successful completion of the activity. The allotted CE hours for this activity = 60.

Psychologists – NY
Behavioral Tech is approved 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 = 60.

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