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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

5 things all therapists can learn from DBT

Are you the kind of therapist, wanting to discover new ideas and insights from outside your own training modality?
If so, read on.

On 19-20 April 2016, Dr Fiona Kennedy is running a two day training course on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).

It’s available as both face-to-face training at The British Psychological Society in London and by International Interactive Webcast.

We’ve had a number of enquiries as to whether this course is for those wanting to train as DBT therapists. The brief answer is “No”.

It is primarily for therapists like yourself who want to develop DBT skills to use in their existing practice –whatever modality you’re currently using. Have a look at the issues below. Which could you usefully do with some new practical ideas on?

How do you engage and motivate clients?
DBT has a unique approach to engaging difficult clients – it has a pre-therapy getting-to-know-you process that encourages both therapist AND client to decide on whether therapy is “right” for them. This has been found to be particularly powerful in engaging clients who otherwise can either be caught up in a tug of war with the therapist or alternatively are viewed as “unmotivated” or “not appropriate for therapy”.
Interested in learning more?

How do your clients learn to tolerate bad feelings?
Poor “distress tolerance” is a key target area for DBT. It is often seen as one of the prime triggers for Deliberate Self Harm and Suicidal behaviour. This is true, and learning to tolerate and accept difficult unbearable feelings is one of DBT’s major areas of success. However, such skills are often useful in other less extreme areas as well. Have you ever had clients drop out of therapy because they find the process too painful? Have you ever got stuck in exposure therapy because your client says they can’t bear the anxiety any longer? If so, DBT has some useful lessons to teach.

Acceptance versus Change – what to do?
Ever worked with clients who need their experience validating but in the process you’ve ended feeling as stuck as they do? Or maybe you’ve worked with clients you’ve encouraged to change but who say their history prevents them doing so?
The dialectic of acceptance vs change is central to the way that DBT works. Rather than seeing the two in opposition it recognises that both can run in parallel. DBT can begin to teach you how you can do this for your clients.
Interested in learning more?

What are your limits as a therapist?
You already know that you can’t be all things to your client, don’t you? At least I hope you do. A lot of our clients are already operating within “a system of agencies”, of which we are often only one part. Sometimes our clients use or manipulate this. DBT is one of the few therapies to value and develop a team approach to client work. If you’re part of a team, this is invaluable knowledge; if you’re not part of a team, you need to be learning how to be part of an effective network. Otherwise, at best you become ineffective; at worst burnt out.

How do you deal with clients who are often in crisis outside of sessions?
DBT wrote the book on telephone coaching for clients in crisis. If you know that your clients need distance support on occasions, there’s a lot of useful lessons here for you. Worried about encouraging dependency? Wondering how “crisis telephone coaching” DOESN’T mean 2am phone calls? Finding it difficult to understand how such a service could ever work constructively? DBT will teach you.

Places on both the face-to-face London training and the International Interactive Webcast are limited.
So do book places today and become part of one of the great therapy training events of 2016.

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