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. This is a peer group where we work together to learn DBT skills and practice them in our lives between sessions. One of the most important parts of this approach is working with others to understand the skills we are learning. Homework is an essential component of DBT, and you will be given worksheets to complete each week between sessions. We go through these in detail each session, and that’s where a lot of the learning happens, as people are able to share their experiences, successes and challenges.
You can join the mailing list to hear about new courses starting here.
Future courses will include 6-week mindfulness, distress tolerance or interpersonal effectiveness courses and 8-week emotion regulation courses. 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.
It costs £30 ($40) per session, with a discount for paying for the whole course in advance.
How do I contact you about joining this group?
You can join the mailing list here. All announcements of new courses will be sent out to people on this mailing list.
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 life 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 20 participants. If more than 20 people are interested in attending then a second group will be set up.
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.
Who is this for?
These courses are for queer people, sex workers, disabled people and neuroqueers who are interested in developing resilience, living authentically and improving their relationships (and ending toxic ones).
Who is this not for?
People that want quick fixes, people that don’t want to do homework or practice skills and people that will judge the life choices of others in the group.