DBT Skills Group

What is DBT and what is a DBT skills group?

We all struggle from time to time with our mental health and relationships. However, some people experience these struggles so severely and frequently, that it fundamentally affects their wellbeing and safety. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed to assist those experiencing extreme difficulty in relationships, decision-making and emotion regulation. Although DBT is best known for assisting those with Borderline Personality Disorder, it has also been consistently effective for those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Bipolar and those experiencing self-harm and suicidality. DBT is a broad system of therapeutic treatments that significantly reduce the rates of suicidality and hospital admissions. One of the most important components of the treatments is the group skills training. The Dune Health and Wellbeing team are now conducting a 12-week DBT Group Skills Training Program for adolescents and adults. The program will cover the four key components of DBT: mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.The program is run in a classroom format, where practical and effective skills are taught through psycho-education. Unlike other group therapies, DBT skills training is heavily structured, involves minimal personal divulging and no discussion of self-harm/suicidal attempts. The program aims to promote happiness and stability by assisting the participants to create a life worth living. The skills they learn in the program are specifically designed to assist them in different areas of life including relationships, work and safety.

What does the DBT group program actually entail?

The DBT Skills Group at Dune Health and Wellbeing, is an adaption of DBT Skills Training, that was developed by Marsha Linehan. The DBT Skills Training group runs for 10 weeks, integrating skills from the 4 key modules (Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness and Emotion Regulation). The aim of the 10 weeks is to focus on key skills/techniques for each module to assist group members to develop emotional awareness, as well as more adaptive coping skills. Individuals from 16 years old with and MHCP are eligible to be considered for the program.

The current DBT Skills Training group is a face-to-face 12-week course that involves one individual initial assessment session (80 mins for new clients to the practice), then 10 group sessions per week that are 120 minutes in duration, and one final individual session (50 mins).

The face-to-face sessions are held on Thursdays from 1:00 - 3:00pm and 5:00 - 7:00pm. It is recommended that participants engage in 5 individual therapy session with one of our psychologists whilst attending the DBT group program. Please let us know if you prefer attending the group sessions on Thursdays from 1:00 - 3:00pm or 5:00 - 7:00pm (limited spaces only).

Who should attend the course?

Those seeking effective life skills to assist in managing a range of mental health concerns including but not limited to Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or self-harm and suicidality.

Do I need a Mental Health Care Plan?

Yes, you will need a Mental Health Care Plan. Each group will be facilitated by two experienced Provisional Psychologists. A Clinical or Registered Psychologist will be present for most if not all sessions.

How much does it cost?

The out-of-pocket cost for the group is $20 for each 120-minute session which is invoiced in 2 instalments ($100 for the first 5 group sessions and $100 for the 2nd 5 group sessions). Individual therapy provided by a provisional psychologist during the weeks the group is running costs $20 out of pocket. Individual sessions with the provisional psychologist can be paid for as sessions occur. The total out of pocket fee for the 10 instrucitonal weeks of the group program is $200.

There is an initial assessment for the program, which will take place in an 80-minute consultation to allow the practitioner and the participant to get to know each other (this applies for new clients to the practice). Participants will also be asked to attend a feedback session at the conclusion of their 10 week training session.

Medicare rebates can be applied to mental health groups for up to 10 group sessions per calendar year.

What will be asked of me?

You will be required to complete an intake package that will be sent to you prior to your acceptance to the group to ensure the program is a right fit for your individual needs. Participants are expected to attend all sessions. Participants are also expected to do all in between session tasks that are set week to week. Participants will be provided with a workbook and relevant handouts on a session by session basis.

When does it start?

The DBT program will start on the 18th of August 2022 and run every week thereafter for a total of 10 weeks. If you miss more than 4 group sessions, you need to register for the next DBT skills group. It is ideal that you continue individual therapy until the next DBT skills group commences.

Program Structure:

Week 0 (before group commencement): Individual Assessment Session

--Group Sessions Commence--

Week 1 (August 18): Group Orientation, Mindfulness + Individual Therapy Session

Week 2 (August 25): Distress Tolerance

Week 3 (September 1): Distress Tolerance + Individual Therapy Session

Week 4 (September 8): Distress Tolerance

Week 5 (September 15): Distress Tolerance + Individual Therapy Session

--Break Week (September 22)--

Week 6 (September 29): Interpersonal Effectiveness

Week 7 (October 6): Interpersonal Effectiveness + Individual Therapy Session

Week 8 (October 13): Emotion Regulation

Week 9 (October 20): Emotion Regulation + Individual Therapy Session

Week 10 (October 27): Emotion Regulation

--Group Sessions Ends--

Week 0 (post-group individual session)

Group Rules

To ensure that group members and facilitators are safe within the group there are a number of rules that we ask participants to abide by. This includes the following which will be discussed in more detail in your first group session.

    • Members who cannot control open hostility toward others are not permitted in group

    • Minimise swearing and no swearing or name-calling towards other group members

    • Missing 3 sessions in a row means the member is out of group

    • Group members support each other

    • Group members contact the leader if they are late or absent

    • Group members do not tempt one another

    • Group members do not form confidential or sexual relationships with one another

    • Group members have an individual therapist if they are suicidal or have severe disorders

    • Group members act sober

Your attendance at the group implies your agreement to the above group rules and any other determined by the group during the first group session.

If these rules are contravened, one of the group facilitators will ask to speak to that individual privately to remind the of the group rules. If a participant continues to contravene the group rules they will be asked to leave the group sessions and encouraged to engage in individual therapy until they are ready to rejoin group therapy in the future.

COVID-19 Safety

Groups will be run in Liverpool in a room that allows for 1.5m social distancing.

Participants will be required to provid evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination before commencing group therapy. To ensure your safety, all our staff and group facilitators are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Before each group session participants will be asked to use a Rapid Antigen Test to ensure they are COVID-negative. RAT kits will be provided by the practice and will be available for you before the group sessions begin. We will also provide masks, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser.

How do I register?

Kindly register your interest by completing this form or join a class via our booking portal or contact us directly by calling 02 9138 0660 or by emailing admin@dunehealthandwellbeing.com.