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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: Skills Training

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a broad-based cognitive behavioural approach specifically developed for the treatment of individuals who struggle with severe emotion and behaviour dysregulation. DBT’s skill modules are empirically supported and have been found to help clients increase effective coping behaviours. In contrast to Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Courses (Parts 1, 2, 3, & 4) which focus on the application of comprehensive DBT, this two-day course will cover the essential elements of DBT’s core skills including: (1) Mindfulness; (2) Distress Tolerance; (3)  Emotion Regulation;  and (4) Interpersonal Effectiveness. In addition to learning about each of the skills, participants will learn how to teach and strengthen skills, deal with objections to skills acquisition or use, incorporate skills into individual sessions, and structure skills training groups. Participants will have the opportunity to practice skills in the workshop and learn through lecture, role-plays, and discussion to illustrate teaching points. This workshop is developed for health care professionals with and without knowledge of DBT. It is designed for individuals who are interested in learning how to implement DBT skills training either as an adjunct to other treatment approaches or within the context of a comprehensive DBT program.


Participants will:

  • Understand the role of skills training within the context of comprehensive DBT
  • Understand the evidence supporting the effectiveness of DBT skills training
  • Learn the content of four DBT skills training modules: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • Discuss effective strategies for dealing with objections in skills training or reluctance to use skills
  • List effective methods for increasing skill acquisition
  • Learn how to structure a skills training group

Participants are advised to come with:

  • DBT Skills Training Manual by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan. (Publisher: The Guilford Press, [2015])
  • DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan. (Publisher: The Guilford Press, [2015])


Dr. Martin is a clinical and forensic psychologist registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Dr. Martin received comprehensive training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) during her doctoral internship at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) under Dr. Shelley McMain in the Borderline Personality Disorder Clinic. At OPCS, she provides psychotherapeutic interventions and comprehensive psychological assessments for adult clients with a wide range of clinical and forensic issues, but mainly serves clients with emotion and behaviour dysregulation. In addition, she leads the weekly DBT Skills Training group. Dr. Martin also works at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences as a Research Scientist and Advanced Practice Psychologist. In this position, she has led several DBT Skills Training groups and participates on committees that oversee the delivery of psychotherapy throughout the hospital.

 Friday May 8, 2020 from 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Saturday May 9, 2020 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

DBT Skills Training – Spring 2020
Contact office – Student rate


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