Last night a package arrived at the post office with my new books: DBT Skills Training Manual and DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets. Yipppeee!!!! I was so excited to start flipping through the pages to see what revisions have been done. However, I had to delay that gratification because my husband gently reminded me that it was time to get out of work mode for the night.
I have to confess that I’ve had a love affair with DBT since I was first introduced to it in 1997 when a wonderful mentor, psychologist Dr. Donna McDonagh, worked tirelessly to bring DBT to Correctional Services of Canada to help rehabilitate women inmates. That is a whole other topic though. When it came time to train trainers (to ensure treatment integrity) Donna set the bar at psychologist’s being the trainers. Her bar also was set at PhD level psychologists. Because of my passion for DBT, and a vote of confidence from another colleague, Donna hesitantly agreed to allow me to be trained as a trainer. Something I am forever grateful for!
In case you are wondering, DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. DBT was developed in the early 1990′s by Dr. Marsha Linehan to help those with chronic suicidal behaviours with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. Simplistically the goal was to help them with emotion regulation and improve relationship functioning. Her first manual was published in 1993 and over twenty years later research shows that a variety of individuals can benefit from the various DBT skills. In fact, all of us can benefit from some (or all) of the skills in the manual. I regularly incorporate skills in my practice for a variety of concerns ranging from situational stressors to severe disorders, and I regularly try to practice what I preach!
My initial assessment from flipping through the pages – the manual and handout companion are amazing! Revisions are extensive because of widespread application of DBT that research has empirically validated, as well as feedback from users of DBT. There is expanded information including specific targets for addictions.
I feel like I am falling in love with DBT all over again and cannot wait to further “get to know” the additions and changes and incorporate them into my practice.