Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Group

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan for individuals who cope with distressing emotions and situations by using self-destructive behaviours such as self-harm, substance misuse and eating disorders.  DBT is now being used for treating other mental health conditions.  DBT is an effective, evidence-based treatment to help people who:

Get bored easily and do risky things

Live a chaotic painful live

Feel suicidal a lot of the time

Hurt themselves deliberately to change the way that they feel

Feel moody and irritable and have rapid changes in their moods

Feel desolate and lonely when alone

Feel anxious much of the time

Don’t cope when people leave them

Feel out of control of their behaviour

Find it difficult to trust others and difficult to maintain relationships

Feel depressed a lot

Feel uncomfortable in a close relationship, or that people are trying to control them

Feel painful and empty

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Sometimes people have suffered painful experiences in childhood or in their adult life that they can’t stop thinking about. They find it hard to sleep, because of nightmares or bad dreams or they feel angry or sad much of the time. They may abuse substances or harm themselves in order to cope. In relationships, they often feel misunderstood, hurt, angry, or afraid that others don’t or won’t like them.  One common feature to all these problems is instability, in your sense of identity, your relationships and your feelings.

Marsha Linehan believes that one of the main reasons people do desperate things like some of the behaviours listed above, is that they have learned effective but harmful strategies for coping with strong emotions, particularly painful emotions. When people feel sharp physical pain, they try to get away from the thing that is causing it. The same thing happens with emotional pain, except that our instinct to block or move away from the pain causes more problems in the longer term.

In DBT treatment, we focus on these painful feelings and work to help you tolerate them better or even change them, rather than avoid them. While no single treatment can “fix” all of these problems, DBT helps many individuals find a reason to go on living and to try to have a better quality of life.

What does it involve?

The treatment involves the following components that work together to help you.

Skills group that is held once a week for 2 hours. They teach you skills for coping with very painful experiences, to improve your relationships with others, to help you focus better on the things that are important to you, and to manage your emotional ups and downs more effectively.

Individual DBT sessions, ideally once a week throughout the full programme.  You will be assigned an individual therapist for the duration of the programme.  During these sessions you will learn to apply the skills that you learnt in the skills group to your very individual and unique issues.

Consultation team is where individual and group DBT therapists will go weekly in order to obtain consultation, training, and help from others in the team in order to keep a clear and focused mind to help you with the work.

What are the Goals of Treatment?

The Group is divided into four modules:

  1. Mindfulness: Mindfulness skills are central to DBT.  Mindfulness training focuses on learning to go within to find oneself and on learning to observe oneself.  The goal of this module is to develop a lifestyle of participating with awareness.
  1. Interpersonal effectiveness: This module focuses on relationships and on learning to deal with conflict situations, to get what one wants and needs, to say no to unwanted requests and demands.  It focuses specifically on doing this in a manner that maintains self-respect and others’ liking and/or respect.
  1. Emotional Regulation: This module focuses on enhancing control of emotions, even though complete emotional control cannot be achieved.  To a certain extent, we are who we are, and emotions are a part of us.  But we can get more control and can perhaps learn to modulate some emotions to make us calmer.
  1. Distress tolerance: This module focuses on learning to tolerate distress, of accepting, and finding meaning for one’s distress.  The skills taught are about developing the ability to accept, in a non-judgmental way, both oneself and one’s current situation.

Who should join the group?

The DBT skills group has been designed to serve as an adjunct to individual DBT, therefore participation in this group is contingent upon simultaneous involvement in individual DBT sessions.

If you are interested in DBT individual or group sessions, you would be required to come in for a general initial consultation session first at normal cost. Following this, we would ask you to arrange a DBT assessment consultation which would be arranged with one of our qualified DBT practitioners. There is a charge of £65 for all DBT initial assessment appointments and a general initial assessment would need to be completed before a DBT initial assessment can be carried out. Once both assessments have been carried out, you would be referred to either individual or DBT Skills Group sessions allowing you to get the best out of this treatment at your individual circumstances.

DBT Room




All our rooms at BTC have been designed to create a warm and comfortable environment for our practitioners and clients. We have windows in each room allowing plenty of light to come in with double glazing and central heating for the winter and ventilation for the summer. DBT Group is run in Room A2 which is on the entrance floor or our building.






DBT Fees

Individual Therapy is on a sliding scale from £65-£105 per session. DBT skills groups cost £350 for each 8 week module. (£315 at an early bird rate)