Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a non-pathologising approach that teaches skills for creating a life worth living. It focuses on the areas of mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. As a therapy approach, DBT often combines skills groups with one to one counselling and phone support – but I am offering a stand-alone skills group. The DBT approach was initially designed for clients with a borderline personality disorder diagnosis but has been found to be effective in relation to a broad range of diagnoses including depression and anxiety. Personally, have found that the skills I’ve learned through DBT have equipped me with options for managing distressing or challenging situations, and in supporting my mental health when faced with discrimination or heightened levels of anxiety.
I am working with clients interested in joining a DBT skills group. I facilitate the group, sometimes with assistance from another facilitator. Participants are given the opportunity to facilitate sessions if they wish to, and those that do so do not pay the cost of that session. This is a peer group where we work together to learn DBT skills and practice them in our lives between sessions. Homework is an essential component of DBT, and you will be given worksheets to complete each week between sessions.
Future courses will include a 5-week mindfulness and distress tolerance course and a 5-week mindfulness and interpersonal effectiveness course and an 8-week emotion regulation course. These courses require you to attend a 2-hour session each week and to complete homework between sessions – this usually takes between 20 minutes and an hour.
What do you do in a group meeting?
We start with a mindfulness exercise, then in each session after the first we would go through the homework and discuss each of our experiences with it. Then we would have a 5-10 minute break. After the break, we would learn a new skill in one of the areas I describe above.
The cost would be on a sliding scale:
Earning under $/£ 20,000 = £10 per session
Earning over $/£ 20,000 = £20 per session
How do I contact you about joining this group?
You can express interest here.
Is this group therapy?
No. I would be acting as a facilitator, but on the understanding that we are peers that are seeking to learn these skills together. Each participant is an expert in their life, and will have a different relationship to the skills. This group is about learning more options for dealing with emotions, interpersonal relationships and the challenges that we face in life. It is focused on building up skills and effective options for dealing with whatever ife throws at you.
Do I need to have a diagnosis to come to this group?
No. DBT assumes that some people have a harder time coping with emotions than others, and managing impulses or behaviours. It suggests some of this is biological, but some comes from an invalidating social environment. Sadly, we all live within one of those! Especially if we are queer, sex workers, people of colour, disabled etc.
How many participants will there be?
I like the group to have no more than 7 participants. If more than 7 people are interested in attending then a second group will be set up earlier in the day.
What do you especially like about this approach?
It equips you with skills that give you more choices when you are faced with distressing or difficult situations. It means that you have those skills to use on your own if you want to, or with trusted others. It assumes that you are the person that knows best what you need in your life and how you can make best use of the skills you’re equipped with. It is really good at giving you extra coping mechanisms for now – and these build on each other.