Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Standard Workshop

This workshop is intended for therapists who are familiar with, as well as those with little or no previous exposure to DBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.

The following topics are covered:

  • A dialectical biopyschosocial theory of borderline personality disorder
  • Structuring treatment for multi-problem, high-suicide risk clients
  • Basic strategies used in individual DBT
  • Enhancing & maintaining the therapy relationship
  • Dealing with unrelenting crisis, applying behaviour change principles
  • Application and practise of DBT skills of Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Emotional Regulation. Group issues in DBT.

DBT Standard

Advanced Workshop

The following topics are covered:

  • How to improve outcomes in individual DBT
  • Structuring the session, Targeting & Case Formulation, Behavioural chain analysis and solution analysis, Contingency Management & Stylistic Strategies
  • Managing life-threatening behaviours
  • Monitoring adherence and outcomes
  • Common pitfalls and problems and how to overcome them
  • Complex case review (clinicians will be asked to complete a case formulation prior to the workshop for discussion)

DBT Advanced


What is DBT?

Marsha Linehan and colleagues developed a systematic cognitive-behavioural treatment called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for working with individuals who meet criteria for borderline personality disorder. DBT is based on the assumption that individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder have problems with emotional regulation. The therapy aims to teach skills to improve emotional regulation which includes interpersonal skills, mindfulness and distress tolerance skills. Personal and environmental factors inhibit the use of behaviour skills that the individual possesses and frequently reinforce inappropriate behaviours. In individual treatment, DBT focuses on motivational issues and seeks to balance skill development with a supportive context that validates the person’s experiences.
However DBT also involves a considered focus on the therapeutic relationship and to therapy interfering behaviours. Examples of therapy interfering behaviours include the client’s poor compliance with aspects of the treatment contract, emotional withdrawal during sessions, missed appointments, and anger towards the therapist.


About the Presenters

Dr Christopher Lee was Senior Clinical Psychologist at a major teaching hospital in Perth (Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital) for 11 years where he set up the DBT treatment team for Borderline Personality Disorders. He is now programme chair in clinical psychology at Murdoch University. He has had extensive training from leading figures in DBT, and has been accredited in Schema Focused Therapy by the International Society of Schema Therapists. Chris has conducted workshops in treating personality disorders throughout Australia and overseas for the last 15 years. He is involved in research on personality disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder and will present this data at the workshop. He has published in the areas of personality assessment and the treatment of PTSD. He is a principal investigator in an international multicentre randomized control trial for borderline personality disorder.

Dr Sian Jeffery is the Coordinator of the DBT programs at Fremantle Mental Health Service (FMHS) since 2009. Dr Jeffery was involved in the establishment of both the comprehensive year long DBT program and a 20 week DBT skills group at FMHS. Dr Jeffery has completed intensive DBT training with Behavioral Tech (Marsha Linehan’s research and training organisation), as well as with the Portland DBT Institute.  Dr Jeffery has a keen interest in personality disorders and was involved in the establishment of a state-wide Personality Disorders Interest Group in Western Australia and was the inaugural chair of this group. She has been an invited reviewer for journal articles in this area and has provided numerous presentations and workshops on working with borderline personality disorder and DBT around Australia. Dr Jeffery provides regular supervision in DBT and has consulted to a number of public and private services as they established their own DBT programs.