Level 3 — Comprehensive Training in Standard DBT

Individuals and Teams seeking to implement DBT programs and/or learn the core principles and strategies of DBT should attend a Level 3 training. These training options provide instruction in the standard model of DBT as designed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, ABPP. These options also meet criteria for DBT certification and are required for anyone interested in Level 4 training.

The standard model requires that all mental health professionals treating a DBT client participate in a DBT team. A DBT team is a group of mental health professionals who meets at least weekly to assist each other in applying DBT in their practice setting. DBT assumes that no therapist would attempt to treat clients with complex, severe needs without the support and supervision from a consultation team, and that anyone doing DBT can only do effective DBT in the context of a team.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training™

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training™ is a comprehensive 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. It includes 4 hours of content specific to risk assessment, management, and treatment of suicidal behaviors.

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.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Foundational Training™

This comprehensive five-day training is designed specifically for individual therapists or skills trainers who are members of an intensively trained team, but have not completed intensive training themselves. It is meant to assist teams that have hired new staff or experienced turnover by allowing newer team members to get trained in the standard content of DBT. It includes 4 hours of content specific to risk assessment, management, and treatment of suicidal behaviors. Lecture, video, demonstration and practice will be used to teach DBT theory and strategies in depth.

The training requires that participants work in an active DBT program, participate in a consultation team, and will continue learning DBT with a mentor. Only people who have attended the full ten days of Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training™ are able to serve as mentors and sponsors for team members attending Foundational Training.