This workshop can be attended in-person, online or delivered in your workplace! Click one of the three links below for further information and to register for any of our workshops.

This course has been developed for individual clinicians as well as teams over three phases. Phase One: Foundational Training. Phase Two: Implementation of a DBT or DBT Informed Approach. Phase Three: Evaluation and Extension.

The course aims to build on knowledge, skills, and confidence to effectively develop and implement a DBT program or effectively apply a DBT informed approach to clients with emotion dysregulation and/or a diagnosis of borderline personality.

Included in the Australian DBT Institute’s program:

  • 5 Days of Intensive Training
  • Credentialing of Clinicians in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) after a 12-month implementation of DBT
  • Access to Study Groups which are voluntary
  • Access to Program Delivery at the Australian DBT Institute (venue for the workshop or online)
  • Access to the Australian DBT Institutes eCampus for 12 months
  • Access to DBT Assist – Australian DBT Institute’s platform for teaching DBT Skills online

Course Prerequisites

  • Participants will be accepted from qualified Psychologists, Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Psychiatrists, General Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Youth Workers and other helping professionals.
  • Applicants are expected to be working with individuals with BPD/emotion dysregulation and looking to run a DBT informed program/activity implement DBT informed practice into the existing clinical setting
  • Have knowledge of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Participants are expected to have a basic understanding of DBT and to have attended either one of Marsha Linehan’s training courses or an Australian DBT Institute’s DBT Foundations workshops.

Topics covered:

  • Overview of DBT (Research, Theoretical Basis, Stages of Treatment, Structure)
  • Commitment
  • Skills Training
  • Individual Therapy
  • Phone Coaching
  • Contingencies
  • Middle Path (Behaviouralism, Dialectics & Validation)
  • Setting up your DBT Program


This two-day intensive focuses on the overall application of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy geared towards all participants having an understanding of, commitment to and benefits Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can have for your clients.

Part 1 of this course will consolidate clinicians’ DBT knowledge and offers a skills-based non‐judgemental approach to the management of clients with Borderline Personality Disorder and clients who are self-harming. In particular key concepts of Core Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance as acceptance-based modules; teaching clients how to live with reality “as it is” will be explored. Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness as change‐oriented modules, teaching clients how to alter themselves or their environments will also be addressed.

In part 1 we will go through all the structures, components, and resources required to run a successful DBT or DBT Informed program.

Specific Focus of Part 1 of DBT Training

Stylistic strategies: How to reframe suicidal and other behaviours as part of the client’s learned ‘problem-solving repertoire. Participants will learn to balance active problem solving with validating the client’s current emotional state and behavioural responses. This session will teach you to blend a ‘matter‐of‐fact’, irreverent attitude towards current and previous dysfunctional behaviours with warmth, flexibility and responsiveness to the client.

Attention to contingencies: We will explore ways to influence behaviour. BPD individuals actively avoid threatening situations. This session will assist participants to expose the client in session and in vivo to fear eliciting stimuli. Participants will learn to arrange and encourage exposures.

Validation: This session will be an in‐depth practice of validating the client’s thoughts feelings and actions. Participants will learn to search for the grain of wisdom or truth in each client’s response and know how to communicate that to the client. The emphasis here is on building and maintaining a positive, interpersonal, collaborative relationship between client and therapist

Core Mindfulness Skills: Learn how to practice mindfulness with your clients every session. This session will focus on using skills to balance emotional mind and reasonable mind to achieve a wise mind. Participants will practice strategies through role play and observe and describe skills that will then be able to impart to clients.

Interpersonal effectiveness skills: Learn effective strategies for asking for what one needs, saying no and coping with conflict. Learn how to assist your clients in analysing a situation and determining goals for interpersonal effectiveness.

Emotion regulation skills: Suicidal behaviours are often behavioural solutions to intolerably painful emotions. Learn to assist clients in identifying the difference between their primary emotion (adaptive and appropriate to the context), and their secondary response (intense shame, anxiety, or rage). Learn ways of exposing your client to their primary emotion in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

Distress tolerance skills: The ability to tolerate and accept distress is essential. Learn how to teach clients to perceive their own environment without putting demands on it to be different. Learn how to teach clients to experience their own emotional state without attempting to change it, and to observe their own thoughts and action patterns without attempting to stop or control them.

Individual Therapy skills: This session seeks to extend participants’ knowledge of Individual Psychotherapy in DBT by exploring comprehensive DBT and its application to youth, families & adult populations which results in the engagement and retention of clients to complete therapy. Advanced knowledge in specific principles and strategies relevant to DBT skills training and coaching with youth and families, individual therapy, family sessions, and managing communication and coaching outside of session (e.g. phone calls, emails, texts, etc.) will be explored. Specific attention will be paid to teaching the skills of dialectics, validation, and behaviour change (“Middle Path”)

Format and organisation of sessions: Learn how to structure a session and stay on task. Learn how to use diary cards to maximise the success of a session. Participants will learn to manage issues that come up in session in a timely manner and how to conduct chain analysis of problem behaviours.

Mid Program Review Day

Participants will attend a day of review and clarification to troubleshoot any difficulties they may have running their DBT programs/implementing DBT informed practice. Regular consult group sessions held with other participants will inform the content of this review and clarification day.


During this phase, all attendees implement a DBT program/DBT informed practice within their workplace. Attendees are supported by an Australian DBT Institute trainer to implement their DBT program/informed practice. Where applicable, programs are to commence 6 weeks following initial training to ensure a full cycle is completed before the Phase 3 sessions.

Support includes:

–    Access to the Australian DBT Institute’s online resource center which has a range of activities and instructional videos to assist your weekly delivery of DBT skills and individual therapy.

–    Access to open consultation team meetings with the Australian DBT Institute in either one of our Brighton Clinic (Melbourne), Southport (Gold Coast) or attendance at participant-run consult groups.

As part of the implementation phase, each team is given two tasks. Firstly to develop a clinical presentation of a client’s management using DBT and secondly, a presentation regarding the development and implementation of your DBT program/DBT informed practice. An outline of the tasks is provided during PHASE 1: FOUNDATION TRAINING.

PHASE 3: EVALUATION AND PROGRAM EXTENSION (2 days face to face review and training) 

On Day 1 of Phase 3: Evaluation and Program Extension, participants present their programs and a case presentation to the group

  • Consultancy to programs (Each individual/team will present their DBT Program/DBT informed practice  and will be supported through consultancy to further enhance their program/informed practice)
  • Case Presentations (Each individual/team will present a client to explore the application of DBT and any challenges that may have arisen during their 6 months treatment)

On day 2 of Phase 3: Evaluation and Program Extension, a range of advanced topics in DBT will be explored. Our trainers will meet with teams 3 times during the eight months separating training dates to identify gaps in knowledge and programs. The training team will provide an advanced presentation on the topics identified.

Course Prerequisites: The Foundations in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy workshop is a prerequisite for this workshop. Clinicians are required to be trained to a level where they have knowledge of DBT, the standard content and processes of DBT.

Who should attend?

All attendees of this workshop must be mental health professionals or students at University training to become mental health professionals. This workshop is suitable for the experienced clinician or clinicians seeking to obtain an introduction to DBT.  Individuals from a range of professional backgrounds who work in community-based services, including youth, family, homeless, aged, welfare, alcohol and substance, mental health, and disability. Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Mental Health OTs, Psychotherapists, Counsellors and Psychiatrists have all found this workshop useful!

Continuing Professional Development Points/Hours

Each year the Centre for Mental Health Education provides CPD opportunities to over 1,000 mental health professionals who claim their education with CMHE as CPD hours. All mental health professionals attending our CPD opportunities are eligible to claim CPD hours if the course/workshop/retreat is relevant to their work as mental health or counselling professionals. There is legislation and AHPRA acknowledgement of this very statement.

To record a professional development activity towards your CPD hours, members of mental health professional and counselling bodies are required to ensure the activity is relevant to them and is consistent with the categories defined in your particular professional body’s CPD Policy.

Health practitioners registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency must undertake continuing professional development (CPD). The CPD requirements of each National Board are detailed in the Registration Standards for each profession, published on each Board’s website (see below links for AHPRA CPD Statements). For professions not registered under AHPRA, their associations have professional development requirements.IMPORTANT NOTE Participants will have ongoing access to the materials related to this workshop through CMHE Academy at no additional cost. If a potential participant is unable to attend they will be given ongoing access to this workshop as a webinar.