The DBT skills group is typically made up of 4-12 group members who meet together once a week for 90 minutes. The DBT skills group is actually more of a class or seminar than a therapeutic group. Participants are provided manuals that cover the skills being taught in the group, and homework is routinely assigned and reviewed. Groups take place in continuous six-month cycles, incorporating four (4) learning modules. New members are welcome to join at the beginning of each module throughout the cycle. The skills modules include:
Mindfulness: Skills to be effective in each moment, decrease impulsivity and improve the ability to direct your attention.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Skills that help you ask for what you want and say “no” effectively; reduce interpersonal conflict and improve relationships with friends, family and co-workers.
Distress Tolerance: Skills to help you live through difficult or seemingly intolerable situations without making them worse and improve your ability to control impulsive behaviors that you may later regret.
Emotion Regulation: Skills to reduce suffering and increase happiness by managing the intensity and reactivity of emotions. Identify and manage emotions that get in your way when they become more intense than is effective for the situation.
For pre teens, adolescents and their families, a fifth skills module has been added:
Middle Path: Learn new ways for families to deal with the struggles inherent in family units and reduce power struggles.
Pre Teen and Adolescent program adapted from DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents, by Jill H. Rathus and Alec L. Miller. Copyright 2015 by The Guilford Press.