I’m very excited to be working with a new team! There is enthusiasm with all of us for this fresh start. One of our main goals is to get Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) up and running efficiently. In preparation for this there is a self-study portion of our training, which includes reading Dr. Marsha Linehan’s book Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (1993) as well as reading the 1993 Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Training Manual. As I mentioned almost one year ago, I was thrilled that Dr. Linehan was releasing a new and improved Skills Training Manual (2015).
I suggested to the team that, in addition to reading the suggested material, we actually go through the new skills training manual ourselves to truly “get it” from the client’s perspective. This is in part due to a response to my post last year http://jeannettekennedy.com/2014/11/19/falling-in-love-all-over-again-with-dbt/ when a dear friend who has participated in DBT treatment said, “It must be more fun for the therapist than the client. Lol.” Good Point!!! It is a lot of hard work, so it is important for the therapist to clearly have an understanding of what is being asked of the client. We get to practice what we preach. As well, the skills benefit everyone who uses them and is not restricted to those with mental health diagnoses!!! Regularly practicing the skills will help us as therapists with good self-care. This is something we don’t always do so well as we are so focused on the well-being of others, and we don’t always prioritize ourselves. Working through the skills as a team will help with accountability, and will help brainstorm ways to present the information to our clients.
There are four modules. Mindfulness,in essence, helps you live in the present moment with clarity and wisdom. Emotion Regulation assists with identifying and managing the various emotions we experience throughout our lives. Interpersonal Effectiveness helps us maintain healthy relationships and end those that are unhealthy. Finally, Distress Tolerance teaches skills to help reduce suffering.
I will keep you posted as to our progress!