Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) Skills Groups

 What are DBT Skills? 

DBT Skills are a series of practical tools and advice designed to assist people in better managing emotions, building resilience, learning to tolerate distress in healthier ways and building effective relationship skills. 

 Who are they for? 

DBT is particularly useful in helping to manage problems associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and the groups are open to people who might:

  • struggle with relationship difficulties
  • experience problems with changeable emotions
  • have difficulty in controlling troublesome or distressing thoughts
  • use risky coping strategies such as self harm

What will I learn and how will it help?

DBT Skills Groups are run across Somerset and teach skills in weekly 2 hour sessions with practice tasks and homework outside the sessions to compliment the skills taught. The 4 topics cover the following:

  • Mindfulness (2 weeks) – This is a key part of the programme, and helps people to learn how to focus their mind and attention, and to accept non-judgemental feedback.
  • Distress Tolerance (6 weeks) – This helps people learn how to tolerate stress, distress and impulsive behaviours by finding ways to survive and tolerate difficult moments in helpful ways, rather than feeling (or being) self-destructive.
  • Emotion Regulation (7 weeks) Teaches how to identify and name current feelings, to move away from reacting to feelings so strongly, and to increase positive emotions.
  •  Interpersonal Effectiveness (5 weeks) – Teaches how to ask more effectively for what you need, how to say ‘no’ when needed, and how to manage conflict in relationships.

You will learn the necessary skills to help manage problems with anger, suicidal and self-harming behaviours, episodic depression, irritability or anxiety, intense or chaotic relationships, impulsivity, stress and feelings of emptiness.

One rotation takes place over 24 weeks however people often stay for the maximum 48 sessions in order to consolidate and build confidence in using the skills. The groups usually consist of 2 facilitators and 10-12 people who will be experiencing similar difficulties.

How can I access DBT Skills Groups?

DBT Skills Groups can be accessed by speaking to your Care Coordinator or Lead Professional; they will contact the Lead Facilitator in your area in order to assess suitability of the course for you. You will then be invited to attend an initial meeting with the facilitators to discuss your interest in attending and find out a bit more about how groups work, before joining the group if you feel that it’s right for you at this time.

As groups run in approximately 6 week cycles please be aware that you may need to wait for the start of the next module before being able to join the group. 

Please see here for more information about the DBT Skills run in Somerset.