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DBT 100 Introduction to DBT

Learning DBT can be fun!  We pride ourselves in making learning FUN and interactive! We use powerpoint presentations, videos, role plays, break out groups, games, interactive activities, DBT charades, and group discussions. There are opening and closing mindfulness and take home practices each week.  The group is taught by many people in the health care field (social workers, peer support workers, mental health nurses, Psychology students) who also have lived experience with BPD and many of us also have teaching backgrounds – a great combination!  We come from a place of truly knowing and often bring powerful real life examples from our own lives into the groups which inspire.

We teach the same course using the same content/work book/home practices to families We strongly recommend that families also learn DBT so that they can help in moments of crisis, learn how to deescalate and validate which are crucial for the person who has wonderfully sensitive emotions.  We have a persons with BPD group and a separate group for families bringing families together who have loved ones with Emotion Regulation Disorder (BPD)

Twelve weekly sessions as follows:

  • Introduction: What is Borderline Personality Disorder (“ERD/BPD”); and DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Skills); Mindfulness
  • Introduction to Mindfulness: Wise Mind, What Skills, How Skills, & Non-judgmental Stance
  • Introduction to Distress Tolerance: ACCEPTS (Activities, Contributing, Comparisons, Emotions, Pushing Away, Thoughts, Sensations)
  • Self Care; Self-sooth using Vision, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch, Movement
  • Introduction to Validation
  • IMPROVE (Imagery, Meaning, Prayer, Relaxation, One thing in the moment, Vacation, Encouragement) the Moment, replacing a negative event with a more positive one.
  • Pros and Cons – pros and cons of acting impulsively and not acting impulsively
  • Radical Acceptance including acceptance exercises observing your breath, half-smile and awareness
  • Turn the mind
  • Willingness and willfulness
  • Willing hands
  • Intro to DEAR MAN – Learn to meet your objectives and maintain healthy relationships with DEAR (MAN, GIVE, and FAST)
  • Introduction to diary cards
  • Skills Consolidation and Review; Introduction to Advanced Courses

Intro to DBT is the prerequisite for the advanced DBT course.

We can accommodate 1 or 2 spaces per session at a subsidized rate.  If funds are an issue please contact us as we may be able to accommodate you now or in the future.


The course is offered in the Danforth and Chester area at a yoga/meditation studio.

It is recommended that you have an individual therapist for the duration of the course. You will acquire more skills learning and be able to apply them more readily into your life if you have a DBT therapist for the period of the group.  Dialectical Living has several therapists to provide one on one therapy for the 12 weeks.  Our rates are very reasonable/accessible and we may be able to work on a sliding scale or make other arrangements depending on situation.

If you’re interested in individual therapy, please let us know as soon as possible before the start of group so that we can get you acquainted with your therapist.

Dialectical Living at Mindfest


DBT Training with Shelley McMain – UofT School of Social Work and CAMH

Shelley McMain and Dialectical Living 6

Driving home the skills!