The DBT Skills Group focuses on four skill sets: Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Skills, Emotion Regulation Skills and Mindfulness. These four skill sets are organized into 3 modules lasting 4 weeks each. The 3 modules are Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Skills and Emotion Regulation. Each module includes one class devoted to Mindfulness as it pertains to that specific skill set, for example, Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness and Interpersonal Skills, and so on. Mindfulness is the foundational skill for learning all of the other DBT skills.
Group sessions last 90 minutes and are psycho-educational, meaning that they are organized around a curriculum: the four sets of skills including practice assignments to complete between sessions. The last half of each class prepares you for the homework that you will discuss in the first half of the next class. Assignments are easy to understand, but challenging to do. Like playing a musical instrument developing a skill requires repetition and practice. In the initial stage of DBT, treatment goals focus is on eliminating the most risky problem behaviors such as self-harm, substance abuse, raging, and any behavior that interferes with participating in therapy. As these goals are met you will be ready to shift your focus to other areas of your life that you want to work on such as relationships, work, or other quality of life issues.
Skills Groups are open to new members every four weeks at the start of a new module. New group participants benefit from the opportunity to observe and learn from more advanced group members. Group members that have attained some mastery of DBT skills have the opportunity to reflect on their progress as they support new members through their struggles starting out in their DBT program. The group dynamic provides a mutually reinforcing environment to develop self-confidence and sustain your commitment to healing and growth.
For information on fees for DBT Skills Groups see How much does it cost? under FAQ’s.