Fundamentals of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Everyday Practice

CE Hours available ( How do I get my CE? )
Rochelle I. Frank, PhD Professor, clinical psychologist, consultant, and author

About This Course

Since its development for borderline personality disorder and suicidality, numerous empirically validated studies over the past several decades have shown Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to be effective in treating substance use disorders, domestic violence, trauma and dissociative disorders, and mood disorders. By gaining an understanding of biologically-driven vulnerabilities and environmental stressors that contribute to emotion dysregulation across different psychological problems, clients can experience less shame about their problematic coping styles and related interpersonal difficulties. Moreover, DBT’s four skills modules aid clients in developing effective communication styles, enhanced coping ability, and greater capacity to manage challenging emotions and high-stress situations without resorting to self-defeating, impulsive, and potentially harmful behaviors.

Through didactic instruction, clinical vignettes, experiential exercises, and ample opportunity for case consultation, this interactive workshop will address both theoretical and practical features of DBT, including how to incorporate DBT skills into comprehensive treatment planning for a range of psychiatric disorders, regardless of therapists’ theoretical orientation or treatment approach. Core constructs of DBT, including biosocial theory and the role of invalidating environments in the etiology and maintenance of many emotional and behavioral disorders, will be addressed. Participants will be taught acceptance-based, behavioral change, and dialectical strategies of DBT, allowing them to increase client motivation and engagement, and incorporate proven techniques such as mindfulness, validation, functional behavioral (chain) analysis, self-monitoring (e.g., diary cards), problem solving, and contingency management into their everyday practice. Participants will learn how to blend therapist and patient creativity and authenticity to individualize interventions and develop practical solutions for managing emotion dysregulation and helping clients (and themselves) weather the storm of COVID-19. At the end of the workshop, participants will know how to facilitate development of self-care and self-compassion as “antidotes” for pervasive invalidation, as well as how to begin utilizing the four DBT skills modules (mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness) when treating a wide range of psychological problems.

Prior to registering, please review speaker-planner conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information.


Session 1: July 29, 2020, 1 pm-3 pm EDT
Fundamentals of Dialectics
Biosocial Theory of emotion dysregulation
Invalidating environments and psychopathology
Problematic coping: Secondary treatment targets
DBT assumptions and treatment strategies
Session 2: August 5, 2020, 1 pm-3 pm EDT
Assessment and Case Formulation
Functional behavioral analysis: Chaining ineffective behaviors
Identifying and prioritizing treatment targets and treatment goals
Session 3: August 12, 2020, 1 pm-3 pm EDT
Behavioral Change Strategies
Strengthening the alliance: Therapist authenticity and creativity
Progress monitoring (diary card)
Session 4: August 19, 2020, 1 pm-3 pm EDT
Acceptance-based strategies: Validation Dialectical strategies
Countering invalidation: Self-care and self-compassion
Session 5: August 26, 2020, 1 pm-3 pm EST
Mindfulness and States of Mind
Distress tolerance
Session 6: September 2, 2020, 1 pm-3 pm EST
Emotion Regulation
Interpersonal effectiveness

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. Describe biosocial theory and the role of invalidating environments in the etiology and maintenance of psychological problems related to emotion regulation.
  2. Integrate biosocial theory and DBT secondary treatment targets into transdiagnostic case conceptualization, assessment, and treatment planning for client-specific problems.
  3. Develop key mindfulness techniques and be able to utilize DBT’s three states of mind (Wise Mind, Emotion Mind, Rational Mind) to help clients increase mindfulness and self-regulation skills.
  4. Apply DBT core assumptions with clients to enhance motivation, individualize interventions, and strengthen the therapeutic alliance.
  5. Creatively utilize the therapeutic relationship and other contingency management strategies to help clients curb ineffective coping behaviors.
  6. Create DBT diary cards to help clients target ineffective behaviors and track skill development and progress toward treatment goals.
  7. Use DBT core skills modules (Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Interpersonal Effectiveness) to reduce ineffective coping and improve client functioning.
  8. Utilize acceptance-based, behavioral (change-based), and dialectical interventions in everyday clinical practice to improve client functioning.
  9. Develop strategies to increase clients’ self-care and self-compassion practices as an “antidote” for pervasive invalidation by self and others.

Continuing Education

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This course is jointly sponsored by Praxis CET and Institute for Better Health (IBH) and is approved for 12 CE Hours by the following:

  • NBCC – National Counselors
  • NY State – Counselors and Social Workers
  • Other State Level Counselors, MFTs, and Social Workers
  • WESPSB – Educators
  • ACCME – Physicians
  • ANCC – Nurses
  • APA - Psychologist: Institute for Better Health, Inc is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. Institute for Better Health, Inc maintains responsibility for the program and its content.




For mental health professionals, beginner to advanced levels, who work with emotion regulation and impulse control problems, or who would like to expand their clinical practice to include these clients.

Recommended Reading



Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT skills training manual (2nd ed.). Guilford Press

Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills training handouts and worksheets (2nd ed.). Guilford Press

Koerner, K. (2012). Doing dialectical behavior therapy: A practical Guide. Guilford Press

McKay, M., Wood, J. C., & Brantley, J. (2019). The dialectical behavior therapy skills workbook (2nd ed.). New Harbinger Publications

Frank, R. I., & Davidson, J. (2014). The transdiagnostic road map to case formulation and treatment planning: Practical guidance for clinical decision making. New Harbinger Publications

Foote, B., & Van Orden, K. (2016). Adapting dialectical behavior therapy for the treatment of dissociative identity disorder. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 70, 343-364

Granato, H. F., Wilks, C. R., Miga, E. M., Korslund, K. M., & Linehan, M. M. (2015). The use of dialectical behavior therapy and prolonged exposure to treat comorbid dissociation and self-harm. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 805-815

Refund and Cancellation Policy

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration prior to 14 days before an event/course. If a registrant would like to cancel their registration within 14 days of the event, no refund will be offered. However, the registrant can elect to receive a credit to be used toward another Praxis event within 1 calendar year.