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Typical group therapy 

This approach includes talking about your problems and the other group members supporting you or challenging you to help you grow.  A therapist facilitates the group.  This is often the "seen on TV' groups. 

Some groups may indirectly target specific areas like art or music therapy and can be a helpful adjunctive supprt.  There are many psychoeducation groups that have a similarity to DBT with a more specific focus and are shorter in length. 


Skills Training in DBT is an experiential class without grades.

DBT skills training

This is a class format that teaches skills in a structured manner.  The reason it is labeled group is due to size of the group (6-8 members typically although there are some exceptions) and so it is supported by insurance.  As part of the DBT treatment package, it is a group.  It’s consistency includes a brief starting mindfulness then sharing only includes skills practice.  Sharing personal “target behaviors” (e.g. urge to self-harm or use) is not part of sharing.  It moves into teaching the skills which include a variety of teaching approaches and ends with discussing how the skill will be practiced through the week.  DBT skills training teaches all DBT skills to help with distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness which can help with all of the above.   Participants receive a binder of skills and leave with a "toolbox" of new strategies to take with them.  Some take DBT skills training classes to learn more skills to augment the therapy they are already in.  The best outcomes includes individual therapists being versed in DBT skills to help participants apply them in their daily lives.  This is a requirement for DBT clients which allows for increased progress and is proven by research to improve outcomes.




This is not part of the DBT model.  This is a learning format to teach specifics and not a comprehensive DBT skills training.  It may support DBT or be separate from it and on other topics.  It might be a one time course or a short series pending the topic.  Examples are specialized skills training for parents, support group and education for support networks of those with mental health difficulties, skills specific to a certain problematic difficulty, topics not specific to DBT, and perfecting skills like reviewing specific DBT topics.  Workshops might be targeted to a specific population like parents or consumers. 

At this time, professionals workshops are provided under The Bridge Training Institute,

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