DBT Skills Groups

DBT Skills Groups at San Jose DBT

What is a DBT Skills Group like?

This is one of the most common questions I get asked by potential DBT Clients. They are often concerned that DBT Skills Groups (an essential component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is like other kinds of groups they have participated in or heard about; in particular, people often visualize something they have seen in a movie :a crowded, sterile medical facility or a small cramped office with people jammed in like sardines. The imagine that there is a lot of sharing of personal stories and that it is very depressing.

Audience Sleeping

Have I got a surprise for you!

Marsha Linehan once said that the best training a DBT Therapist could receive in order to be an effective DBT Skills Class Trainer is Improvisational Training -that’s right- training to be a stand up comic! Well I won’t claim to be a stand-up comic but the idea is that DBT Skills Training Group Leaders model an irreverent approach to life when they are leading skills training.

At San Jose DBT At Santhe group sessions involve some lecture and teaching of new skills but we also use  film clips, experiential exercises- especially when practicing mindfulness- and of course there is invigorating discussion. Oh and we laugh a lot! San Jose DBT Skills Training is based on adult learning styles!

“Why have the DBT Skills Group at all? I don’t like Groups. I’m afraid people are looking at me and judging me” 

This is another important question and here is the scoop.  My DBT Skills Training Groups are full of ordinarily extraordinary people – high functioning people – who have one thing in common: they all want to learn new skills to improve their lives. They want better tools for emotion regulation, increased ability to live in the present moment with full awareness, reduced suffering, and improved relationships.

The DBT Skills Group is necessary to achieve MAXIMUM learning. Adult learning theory suggests that adults learn best when they are with other adults in a similar context. Often when a client graduates form my DBT Skills Training Program that graduate will say , ” I never thought I could do a group but it helped me the most to hear other people’s reports on how they practiced and used the skills”. What they are saying is that the group members played a key role in learning the material.

DBT Skills Group in San Jose

“What is required of me in group?   Do I have to listen to other people’s horror stories?”

After so many years teaching DBT Skills Groups it still fascinates me that we can limit a person’s sharing in group to  2-3 minutes at the beginning of class and they still report feeling supported, connected and validated at each session. Here is what we require: 1. Show up 2. Stay until the end 3. Do the homework 4. Report on your skill practice in class 5. Then go back to number 1.

Class Schedule for DBT in San Jose

In our San Jose DBT  program we tell participants to just “throw yourself in”. Do it all the way. And we know it is hard. And we know judgments will inevitably arise in ourselves and other DBT Skills Group members. And we just ask you to try as best you can to take a non-judgmental stance about the whole thing.

DBT Skills Group teaches the skills that you will practice, with the help and support of your DBT therapist, in your everyday life. Your individual DBT therapist helps you generalize the skills to day-to-day sitautions and problems.  DBT Skills Group is the cornerstone of the Dialectical behavior Therapy.

Still not sure if DBT Skills Groups are for you?  Call Me! I’ll give you examples of how these very skills help people who GET THEIR LIVES BACK in our San Jose DBT Program!. You can do it.  Call Me at (408) 893-4032 or fill out the form below and she’ll get in touch with you.

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