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

Practitioners of evidence-based therapy face a real dilemma...

On the one hand, practitioners want tools that have been proven to be effective.

On the other, they want to know how to apply those tools in the real world, with an understanding that human beings have multifaceted, interconnected issues.

But the hard-and-fast protocols based on diagnoses from the DSM-5 make it hard to have both.

They focus so narrowly on treating specific symptoms that they don't give therapists a framework for creating transdiagnostic treatment plans that look at the client as a whole person.

And this challenge doesn’t only impact therapists.

Rigid DSM and RCT-backed protocols don’t provide clients tools for meeting challenges that fall outside of clear diagnostic categories.

Clients often leave sessions unequipped to enact real and lasting change in their lives.

They find themselves hitting the same walls, battling feelings of defectiveness and hopelessness, and unable to move forward.

So, to combat this, practitioners need an evidence-based, transdiagnostic approach that can meet the client where they are and empower them to make new choices based on their unique circumstances.

This is why dialectical behavior theory (DBT) can be such a powerful asset to any mental health practitioner.

DBT isn’t simply a set of strict interventions to apply in the therapy room. It’s a toolset you teach your clients — one that enables them to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and utilize that understanding to make different choices.

In this way, DBT presents a model that generates a feeling of “equal partnership” with your clients. You work proactively and collaboratively to help them develop 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.

As clients build their own toolset, they generate a sense of mastery, feel more confident, and reduce feelings of hopelessness, shame, and defect.

And because the DBT skillset adapts to the specific needs of the client, it allows practitioners more flexibility in choosing comprehensive treatment plans and can be integrated into any other evidence-based modality.

In Fundamentals of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Everyday Practice, Dr. Rochelle Frank will guide you through the core DBT principles and show you how to apply them in your practice.

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 biosocial theory and the role of invalidating environments in creating clients’ struggles.

You’ll learn acceptance-based, behavioral change, and dialectical strategies for increasing client motivation and engagement.

And you’ll practice incorporating proven techniques such as mindfulness, validation, functional behavioral (chain) analysis, self-monitoring, problem solving, and contingency management into your everyday practice.

You’ll also explore the concept of radical genuineness: how to bring your authentic self fully into the room as a clinician. Dr. Frank will show you how being present, appropriately sharing aspects of yourself, and utilizing your own unique blend of knowledge, creative interests, and humor can help engender a sense of trust that allows clients to engage more fully in the work.

Over the course of six weeks, you’ll gain a dynamic DBT skillset to utilize in session and powerful self-healing tools you can teach to your clients, including:

  • Skills you can teach clients to help them break free of stuck reaction patterns that perpetuate feelings of shame and defectiveness
  • Ways to help clients recognize where they are making choices so they can discover when and how to try something different
  • Techniques for developing clients’ ability to recognize and distinguish between emotions, enabling them to learn new things about themselves and their environments
  • How to utilize the transdiagnostic roadmap to individualize treatments to your clients’ specific needs
  • Tools for coping with struggles brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic for practitioners and clients alike
  • Ways to help clients reverse course when they fall into destructive patterns, rather than become paralyzed by making the “right” choice every time
  • Effective ways to teach self-care and self-compassion techniques as “antidotes” for pervasive invalidation
You’ll leave this course with the knowledge to apply the core DBT skillsets— mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness — to treat a wide range of psychological problems.

Enroll in this live online course, learn how to teach powerful coping skills tailored to your clients’ specific needs, and empower your clients to change their lives.

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


Session 1: July 7, 2021, 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: July 14, 2021, 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: July 21, 2021, 1 pm-3 pm EDT
Behavioral Change Strategies
Strengthening the alliance: Therapist authenticity and creativity
Progress monitoring (diary card)
Session 4: July 28, 2021, 1 pm-3 pm EDT
Acceptance-based strategies: Validation Dialectical strategies
Countering invalidation: Self-care and self-compassion
Session 5: August 4, 2021, 1 pm-3 pm EST
Mindfulness and States of Mind
Distress tolerance
Session 6: August 11, 2021, 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 listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. All the planners/presenters have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:
Drug and Alcohol Counselors: Indicated courses have been approved by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 12 CE hours. NAADAC Provider #165310, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, is responsible for all aspects of its programming.

National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

Institute for Better Health maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:
Physicians: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Institute for Better Health and Praxis Continuing Education and Training. The Institute for Better Health is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Institute for Better Health designates this live online activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Psychologists: Institute for Better Health is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education to psychologists. Institute for Better Health maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Nurses: Institute for Better Health, Inc is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Institute for Better Health is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, BRN (Provider CEP#2672).

Educators: Institute for Better Health has been approved by the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board (WESPSB), a member of NASDTEC, as a Clock Hour Provider for Educators. Learners may claim one Clock Hour for each activity hour attended. Please contact your individual state boards for information regarding reciprocity and any additional requirements.




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.