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 10-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.
DBT Skills Group
DBT Skills Group

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 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). 

It is recommended that participants engage in 5 individual therapy session with one of our psychologists whilst attending the DBT group program.  

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 (MHCP). Each group will be facilitated by two experienced Psychologists including a Clinical or Registered Psychologist and a Provisional Psychologist. Medicare rebates can be applied to mental health groups for up to 10 group sessions per calendar year, if delivered by a Clinical or Registered Psychologist. 

How many group therapy sessions is a client eligible for under their MHCP?

A Clients with a valid MHCP is entitled to up to 10 group therapy sessions per calendar year, provided that participation in the group program is considered complimentary to their individual treatment.

Do the group sessions come out of the client's allocation of 10 sessions?

No. Clients are eligible for up to 10 individual sessions and 10 group sessions per calendar year. This allows clients with more complex needs to access additional treatment options, and can be a useful way to engage in skill-building outside their individual therapy.

How much does it cost?

In addition to the Medicare rebate, clients using a current Mental Health Care Plan are required to pay an out-of-pocket fee for the group of $115 for each 120-minute session which is invoiced in 2 instalments ($575 for the first 5 group sessions and $575 for the second 5 group sessions*). The total out of pocket fee for the 10 instructional weeks of the group program is $1150. *Out of pocket fees are non-refundable once paid.

Individual sessions with your psychologist (provisional / registered / clinical) are highly encouraged on a fortnightly basis to support implementation of the skills learnt in the group within your particular circumstances. Individual sessions with a  psychologist can be paid as sessions occur and as per our usual individual session fees https://www.dunehealthandwellbeing.com/pricing-payment.

There is an initial assessment for the program, which will take place in an 80-minute consultation to allow the psychologists 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 the 10 week group program.  

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 next DBT program will run in 2024 and run every week thereafter for a total of 10 weeks. If you miss more than 3 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.

Our next groups will begin the July 2024 and run for 10-weeks with a one-week break mid-way through the 10-week period.


Please fill out this DBT registration form to register your interest in the group. 

By filling in the form we can determine interest in tentative delivery days, times and modes (face to face or online).

General Program Structure:

Week 0 (before group commencement): Individual Assessment Session

--Group Sessions Commence--

Week 1 :  Group Orientation, Mindfulness + Individual Therapy Session

Week 2 : Distress Tolerance

Week 3 : Distress Tolerance + Individual Therapy Session

Week 4 : Distress Tolerance

Week 5 : Distress Tolerance + Individual Therapy Session

--Break Week --

Week 6 : Interpersonal Effectiveness

Week 7 : Interpersonal Effectiveness + Individual Therapy Session

Week 8 : Emotion Regulation 

Week 9 : Emotion Regulation + Individual Therapy Session

Week 10 : 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.

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

Face to face 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 face to face 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 registration form or contact us directly by calling 02 9138 0660 or by emailing admin@dunehealthandwellbeing.com.