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Certificate in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (3 modules/8 days)

The Certificate is based on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) as developed by Dr Marsha Linehan. The course is designed to provide a detailed training in the “taught elements” of DBT as well as guidance support in their practical application and maintenance through the establishment of Consult Groups.

Approved by the British Psychological Society for the purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

For obtaining the BPS Approved Certificate each delegate will need to attend the modules of the Certificate plus pass the online test with min 80% result.

Learning outcomes and objectives:

  • Delegates will have an overview of understanding of DBT including its applicability historical development and theoretical underpinnings;
  • Delegates will learn how to recognise Borderline Personality Disorder and symptoms and behaviours associated with it;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and importance of the Commitment stage of DBT and practice the use of techniques and strategies to facilitate it;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and importance of Validation within DBT and practice the use of techniques and strategies associated with it;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and importance of Mindfulness in DBT and practice the use of Mindfulness and its appropriate application;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and importance of behaviour therapy within DBT and practice the use of techniques and strategies associated with it;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and importance of Contingency Management within DBT and practice the use of skills associated with it;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and Problem Solving Skills within DBT and practice the use of techniques and strategies associated with it;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and importance of Exposure techniques within DBT and practice the use of such techniques;
  • Delegates will learn the Dialectical and Stylistic strategies and skills associated with DBT and practice their use;
  • Delegates will understand the nature and importance of Consult Groups within DBT and how they should be used to address the challenges of working with BPD clients;
  • Delegates will learn how to assess and appropriately manage suicidal and self-harming behaviour within a DBT approach;
  • Delegates will learn how to assess and appropriate manage the termination of therapy within DBT.

What is the target audience?

Psychologists, Therapists, Counsellors, OTs, Nurses, Doctors, Arts Therapist, Social Workers, Probation Officers.

The course is set within delegates’ organisational context in order to maximise the practical applicability of the training to their work context. Employer’s perspective and particular requests are taken into account.

The course consists of 3 modules*:

Module 1 (Accreditation Level 1, Foundation)

Introduction to DBT

Course Length & Content: TWO DAY (09.30-17.00)

A broad overview of DBT covering its basic background and key concepts and strategies contained within it.

Covering: commitment; structuring the therapy; validation; Behaviour analysis; dialectical strategies; establishing and delivering a DBT service, and the use of “consult groups” to ensure DBT adherence.

Notes & Comments: This two day course is an open access course designed for those who want a broad introduction to DBT.

It is known that the effectiveness of DBT delivery is enhanced if non-specialist stakeholders in the service (e.g. managers and referral agents) have some understanding of how DBT works. For this reason this TWO DAY course is also of value to those who do not go onto complete the rest of the Certificate.

Module 2 (Accreditation Level 2, Advanced Assessed Academic Competence)

DBT Skills Training Groups (STG):

Course Length & Content: FIVE DAYS (4 courses) in no particular order (09.30-17.00)

DBT STG on Emotional Regulation

DBT STG on Distress Tolerance

Mindfulness: How to use it with your clients (2 days)

DBT STG on Interpersonal Effectiveness

Training structure of Module 2 consists of:

  • Teaching sessions covering the major DBT strategies and techniques;
  • Modelling of skills;
  • Role plays to develop participants’ own skills;
  • Reflection and discussion sessions;
  • Use of example cases and scenarios.

Modules 1 & 2 are followed by an online multiple choice exam. Pass mark 80%.

Module 3 (Accreditation Level 3, Clinical Proficiency)

Assessed casebook assignment, consult group attendance, reports and test

Participants will be asked over a period of subsequent 6-24 months following Module 2 to:

  • Take on at least one individual DBT client
  • Provide part of a videoed session with a client demonstrating the use of at least three commitment building strategies during the commitment phase
  • Deliver at least one complete cycle of a DBT skills training group (confirmatory reference required)
  • Attend consult group regularly with monthly reports to the course tutor*
  • Complete assigned reading
  • Complete a DBT casebook*
  • Prepare a presentation of the casebook*

The course tutor will provide UNLIMITED email support during the 6 month period.

Casebooks forwarded for marking to SDS at least 14 days before meeting the course tutor again.

The meeting with the course tutor will cover feedback on casebook, consult group reports and video submission.

*Format of these to be provided on signing up.

Completion of all 3 modules will lead to a British Psychological Society Approved Certificate in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

About SDS Accreditation in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.


Payment Options:

You can pay for each module separately, benefiting from spread payments and flexibility of your bookings.

Module 3: As this module requires a lot of personalised one-to-one work with a tutor, it should be signed up for separately and an individual teaching plan will be agreed for every student undertaking module 3. Price on application.

Certificate of Completion:
- You receive a Certificate of Attendance for the appropriate number of CPD hours after each individual module
- You receive a Certificate of Advanced Assessed Academic Competence after fully completing the Module Two and passing an online exam.
- You receive BPS Approved Certificate in DBT with Accreditation Level 3 (Clinical Proficiency) on passing the Module 3.

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Course Tutors:

Catherine Parker
Accredited CBT Therapist

Catherine Parker completed her intensive DBT training in 2001. She was a founder member of the Derbyshire DBT Service, delivering full programme DBT for over 15 years. Throughout her career as a psychotherapist, she has delivered DBT workshops within her NHS Trust and at local universities, sharing her practical experience of using DBT principles to treat a variety of diagnoses in both IAPT and Community Mental Health settings. She has been the Chair of the DBT Special Interest Group of the BABCP since 2013, and has participated in a number of symposia and other events featuring DBT at the BABCP national conferences.

Marie Wassberg
Accredited CBT Therapist

Marie Wassberg qualified as a CBT therapist at Goldsmiths University, London, 2003. She is registered with the HCPC and Accredited with BABCP in the UK. Marie has Diploma in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), gained in 2010, where she trained with Dr Elizabeth Malmquist and Dr Anita Linnér (Sweden), as well as with Professor Alan Fruzzetti and Professor Jill Rathus (USA). She is also trained in Trauma Focused-CBT, including Supervisor training; Prolonged Exposure; and DBT for Schools (STEPS-A). Marie has been part of developing many DBT-informed programmes in different settings, mainly for children, adolescents and families, but also for young adults (18-25), both in Sweden and in England. In 2018 Marie offered support and DBT-informed training to a group of mothers in Mexico.

Prof. Paul Grantham
Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Paul Grantham is a clinical psychologist with vast clinical and training experience. With degrees from Oxford University and the University of Sussex, Paul trained as a Clinical Psychologist at Liverpool University. Paul is the founder and Director of SDS Ltd and one of the most popular and inspirational tutors in the field of psychological skills training. Paul is the founder of the DBT Special Interest Group of the BABCP, a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, a Senior Associate of The Royal Society of Medicine and is an Accredited CBT Therapist. An extremely informed, clinically experienced and humorous speaker he is known for his emphasis on the practicalities rather than just the theory of client-based work.

Dr Nuno Ferreira, PhD
Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

Nuno Ferreira is a Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh where he teaches and supervises research projects across several post-graduate programmes in Clinical Psychology. Gaining his qualification as a Clinical Psychologist in Portugal, Nuno has worked in several services in clinical capacities both in Portugal and in the UK. From 2007 onwards he became interested in the use and development of Third Wave Cognitive Behavioural approaches in clinical setting. His main research focus has been on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for long-term or chronic health conditions. Nuno has published a book and several research articles on ACT and is regular presenter at several international conferences in this subject area.

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