Who is this group suitable for?

This group is suitable for adults aged above 18 yrs who are experiencing difficulties managing relationships and life experiences. Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, Emotion Regulation Difficulties or similar traits will find this group useful.

Our DBT programs are run in Melbourne and Sydney!

What skills are developed in thE group PROGRAM?

The DBT group supports participants to analyse their behaviour/target problems individually and as a group, identify triggers and vulnerabilities, identify opportunities to manage more effectively and take active steps to change problematic patterns. The key to our DBT groups are that we teach DBT skills in a classroom type format which does not involve processing traumatic or stressful situations.

In our DBT groups, participants are taught techniques such as problem solving and chain analysis to help them assess and address challenging issues in their lives. The group allows exploration of the skill modules of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. The group will be taught relevant techniques and practice in session to identify and build on skills that they currently have, manage their distress, interpersonal effectiveness and difficult life circumstances.

Core Mindfulness Skills: Learn how to practice mindfulness in your every day life. This session will focus on using skills to balance emotion mind and reasonable mind to achieve wise mind. Participants will practice strategies through roles play and observe and describe skills that will then be able to impart mindfulness as daily practice.

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

Emotion regulation skills: Suicidal behaviours are often behavioural solutions to intolerably painful emotions. Participants learn how to identify the difference between their primary emotion (adaptive and appropriate to the context), and their secondary response (intense shame, anxiety or rage). Participants learn ways of exposing themselves to their primary emotion in a non judgmental atmosphere.

Distress tolerance skills: The ability to tolerate and accept distress is essential. Participants learn how to perceive their own environment without putting demands on it to be different. Participants explore their own experiences of their emotional states without attempting to change it, and to observe their own thoughts and action patterns without attempting to stop or control them.

Schedule in Adult Group program: DBT Group sessions are held for 120 minutes and run during the academic school year.

  • Term 1: Distress Tolerance (2 weeks mindfulness at the start of the term)
  • Term 2: Emotion Regulation (2 weeks mindfulness at the start of the term)
  • Term 3: Interpersonal Effectiveness (2 weeks mindfulness at the start of the term)
  • Term 4: Distress Tolerance (2 weeks mindfulness at the start of the term)


Individual Therapy is part of a comprehensive DBT and its application to youth, families & adult populations provides the best results in the engagement and retention of clients to complete a DBT program. Our therapists have 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.). Within individual therapy, specific attention will be paid to teaching the skills of dialectics, validation, and behaviour change (“Middle Path”).

Therapists work with participants one on one to learn to balance active problem solving with validating the client’s current emotional state and behavioural responses. Session blend a ‘matter‐of‐fact’, irreverent attitude towards current and previous dysfunctional behaviours with warmth, flexibility and responsiveness to each participant and individuals close to participants. Our clinicians explore ways to influence behaviour and how to actively avoid threatening situations.

Validation: Is a core skill of clinicians within DBT. The in‐depth practice of validating the participant’s thoughts, feelings and actions is utlilised in both group and individual sessions. Participants learn to search for the grain of wisdom or truth in personal responses and know how to communicate that to to themselves and others. The emphasis here is on building and maintaining a positive, interpersonal, collaborative relationship between participants, their therapists and other significant individuals in their lives.

Format and organisation of individual sessions: DBT has a specific structure for individual sessions and provide clinicians and participants with a structure to stay on task. Participants learn how to use diary cards to maximise success of a session and utilisation of skills outside sessions. Participants learn to manage issues that come up in session in a timely manner and how to conduct chain analysis of problem behaviours.

What is the intake process?

New participants will need to attend an assessment approximately 2 weeks prior to starting a group to determine suitability and timing of intake. Known participants will need to discuss entry with their individual therapist. Participants can commence group at the mindfulness module (at the start of each term commencing February, April, June or October).

Simply complete our online referral form at http://dbt.essentiahealth.com.au/dbt-program-referral-form/ or call our reception on 03 9077 2096 to make a referral or register for one of our programs.

What Evidence Based approaches are used in this group?

This group is based on the Evidence Based Treatment Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).