Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Concepts and Skills for Clinical Practice

May 8, 2017

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

NYU Silver School of Social Work
1 Washington Square North
New York, NY 10003


This one-day training will review the key components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as it applies to social work practice. 

The morning segment (Part I) will identify the theoretical framework of DBT and its application for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder as well as its current application to other wide ranging presenting concerns such as, emotional regulation deficits, self-management, anger management, impulse problems, anxiety, and mood management concerns.  In addition, the DBT Assessment Model will be reviewed with exploration on how to incorporate DBT concepts in the evaluation of clients.

The afternoon segment (Part II) will explore a range of skill-based techniques within the DBT framework: behavioral chain analysis, addressing therapy interfering behaviors, coping ahead, and the 4 DBT skill modules: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation and Interpersonal Skills Training. To review and practice, social workers will be guided through exercises as an opportunity to learn direct application to clinical encounters.

Learning Objectives:

Part I

Participants will:
  • Identify the key treatment agreements made in DBT.
  • Explain the Biosocial Model of BPD.
  • Identify the goals and stages of DBT Treatment.
  • Describe how dialectics are used in DBT.
  • Identify the levels of validation and the contexts in which they apply.
  • Demonstrate the use of validation to balance the change strategies in treatment.

Part II

  • Identify 1 core skill within the four DBT Skill Modules.
  • Implement Cognitive-Behavioral strategies in DBT.
  • Conduct complete Behavioral Chain Analyses. 
  • Conduct Solution analyses.
  • Implement DBT case management strategies.


8:30- 9:00 am Check In
9:00 - 10:00 am Overview of Dialectical Behavior Therapy Conceptual Framework
10:00 - 11:00 am Core Distress Tolerance Skills
11:00 - 12:00 pm Core Mindfulness Skills
12:00 - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 pm Core Emotional Regulation Skills
2:00 - 3:00 pm Core Interpersonal Skills Training
3:00 - 4:00 pm Review of Clinical Application for Social Work Practice Settings 



Reji Mathew, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Mathew is a CBT/DBT psychotherapist who has a specialization in evidence base clinical practice approaches. She is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work where she teaches DBT/CBT, Positive Psychology, Mindfulness and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. She is a clinical social worker at the NYU Student Health Center, Counseling and Wellness Services. She is also a freelance journalist and a member of ASJA - American Society of Journalists & Authors. [Read more...]