- DBT Essentials -

25 modules


Dr William Davies


DBT is a powerful therapeutic approach originally developed by Marsha Linehan for the treatment of borderline personality disorder and now applied across a range of challenging conditions. It relies on teaching core life skills such as mindfulness, how to regulate your emotions, how to tolerate distress, and how to be effective interpersonally, and then helping patients maintain their motivation and resolve ongoing problems as they apply these skills in a planned way. All against the background of having regular consultation meetings with your colleagues to maintain quality stands and resolve problems.

The APT has mastered the delivery of DBT training 'online anytime'; providing top class training you can access right now or any time that suits you. No longer do you have to wait for 'the start date' of the course.

"I learned so much in the course. Though I had some previous knowledge of DBT, it truly clarified so much of the skills and theory of DBT"

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training from the Association for Psychological Therapies (APT), includes APT accreditation, certification, and resources. And the APT has perfected the art of delivering it in a way that makes it appear simple and easy to apply.

"Very helpful, insightful, organized and easy to follow. Will definitely be using this knowledge and these resources with my clients. Highly recommend!"

With a wealth of clinical experience, Dr William Davies presents the course with relevant stories and examples of using DBT and an engaging lightness which perfectly complements the power of the subject.


"I enjoyed the presenter and overall format of the class. It was easy to follow and gave good examples of practicing the components of DBT."

This course gives you a thorough introduction to DBT, it is APT-accredited, and gives you access to important resources for you to use post-course. Whether you simply want to broaden your knowledge or take your first step to establishing a full DBT service this course is for you. The course can be studied by teams or individuals and can also be completed as part of APT's Extended Training in DBT course and The APT Diploma in Psychological Therapies.

The Association for Psychological Therapies (APT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists and this course leads to 18 CE credits*

For further information on the format of APT online training, the APT’s guarantee to you, and how to make a group booking, click here.



Click ‘add to cart’ to purchase by card or PayPal. (If you are ordering for somebody else - or a group - create an account and select ‘Bulk Purchase’ once you have proceeded to cart.)

If you would like to be invoiced please email finance@apt.ac stating; the course title, how many places you require, your organization's purchase order number, and the name and address for the invoice to be sent to.


Who should attend this DBT course?

This is an ‘introductory’ course to DBT and people who attend normally fall into one of two categories:

1. Professionals who see patients in 1:1 treatment settings, have a significant degree of clinical skill, and wish to add DBT techniques to their repertoire.

2. 'Whole teams' (either in inpatient or community settings) seeking to develop a common approach to DBT and a full DBT Service.

The professional affiliations of people attending our DBT training include: mental health/psychiatric nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and others.

The DBT Essentials course covers a great deal:


The 4 'modes' (key components) of DBT.

  • Skills development groups, where patients learn important life skills.
  • 1:1 sessions where patients meet with their individual therapist to problem solve, maintain motivation, and more.
  • Telephone support, where therapist and patient have telephone communication to help them apply the new skills they learn even in crisis situations.
  • Consultation Meetings. Where all the professionals involved in providing DBT get together to discuss any current issues, to support each other and ensure quality control.
  • What to do if you are providing DBT single handed and cannot provide all the components as listed above.


Linehan's Biosocial model.

  • What it is.
  • Why it is important.
  • How we operationalize it in therapy.

Higher order skills of DBT.

  • How to order competing priorities: deciding which of several problems to tackle first.
  • Life-threatening behaviors, therapy-threatening behaviors, and behaviors that interfere with the quality of life.
  • The patient-therapist agreement - our role in it.
  • Assumptions we can make about the patient - and those we can't.



  • Definition of validation, and why it is important.
  • How validation links to Linehan's Biosocial model.
  • The implication of invalidating environments for a child, and later for the adult.
  • Different ways of validating.


  • How metaphors work and why we should use them.
  • 6 Examples of metaphors.
  • 4 Metaphors you can use repeatedly, for common problem situations.
  • General principles of metaphors, including visual metaphors.

Relentless problem solving.

  • Problem solving attitude and problem solving strategy, the usefulness of both.
  • The five stage problem solving strategy.
  • Forms for clients (and you) to use with problem solving.
  • Problem solving exercise.

Contingency management.

  • Differential reinforcement in a clinical setting.
  • The nature of contingency management and how it interacts with the conscious or unconscious motivations of the client.
  • Behavioral analysis, especially as a response to severe behavior such as parasuicidal behavior.
  • Chain analysis and solution analysis.



  • The skills necessary to effectively regulate your emotions.
  • Biological elements such as: sleep, exercise, illnesses, circadian rhythm.
  • Specific multi-point strategies and the acronyms to remember them.

Interpersonal effectiveness.

  • Frequent interpersonal issues, and strategies to respond to them.
  • Avoiding quarrels and maintaining relationships.
  • Appropriate assertiveness and strategies for expressing it.

Core Mindfulness skills.

  • A definition and description of mindfulness and the best purposes it can fulfill.
  • Mindfulness and its role in balancing 'the emotional mind' with 'the reasonable mind' to achieve 'the wise mind'.
  • The skills of mindfulness.

Distress tolerance.

  • 'Distraction behaviors' that may be used to counteract and neutralize distress.
  • 'Beyond distraction': steering the thought processes.
  • 'Radical' distress tolerance: doing nothing. How to do nothing: the fact of this turning out to be an effective approach for many people, and the theory behind it.

Walking the Middle Path

  • What this means, why it is important.
  • An overview of some of the exercises involved.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain the history and purpose of the DBT approach and be able to name and describe the key concept of the ‘wise mind’.
  • Describe how problem solving and change strategies are balanced dialectically by the use of validation strategies and how this fits with Linehan’s ‘Biosocial Model’.
  • Discuss why validation is important in the DBT approach and what techniques can be used with patients.
  • Demonstrate the DBT technique of ‘Chaining’ and ‘Chain Analysis’ techniques.
  • List techniques to help patients with emotional dysregulation with problem solving.
  • Discuss the importance of setting contingency management plans with their patients and be able to guide their patients in cost-benefit analysis.
  • Explain the importance of positive reinforcement in the DBT approach and why the core ethos of “watering the flowers, not the weeds” in therapy helps move patients towards positive behavior.
  • Identify the core components of a DBT programme and the key skills that patients will learn through participating in the program.
  • Compile the techniques necessary to then be able to help patients develop the key DBT skills of mindfulness, Interpersonal effectiveness skills, emotion regulation skills, distress tolerance skills, and walking the middle path.


This course is APT-professional accredited. To be APT-professional accredited, means it receives an average rating of over 90% from the mental health professionals who attend it, on each of the two key scales of relevance and presentation-quality. We view this as a very high and relevant level of accreditation. 


CE Credits from the APA

APA Logo

*The Association for Psychological Therapies (APT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists. The Association for Psychological Therapies (APT) maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Upon completion of this course you can apply for CE certification for an additional cost of $20 USD (for training purchased after 08/14/2023). 

Requirements for completion: To be awarded CE credits for this course 100% attendance is required for live training. For the 'online anytime' (self-paced) version, you are required to complete the course in full and complete a multiple choice exam whereby a pass marks of 85% is required (failure on the third attempt would result in having to go back through the content again). A feedback survey is also required to be completed.

Note: there may be other professional licensing boards that accept CE credits earned from APA-approved sponsors. Because CE regulations vary by state and profession, we recommend that participants check with their state licensing board to inquire whether credits will be accepted for renewal of licensure. We do not have any authority over whether credits earned will be accepted, as this authority rests with the state licensing boards.


Click ‘add to cart’ to purchase by card or PayPal. (If you are ordering for somebody else - or a group - create an account and select ‘Bulk Purchase’ once you have proceeded to cart.)

If you would like to be invoiced please email finance@apt.ac stating; the course title, how many places you require, your organization's purchase order number, and the name and address for the invoice to be sent to.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate APT Accreditation, Level 2 (18 hours CPD)

Learning Credits

Welcome and Intro
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What is DBT
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Assessment and Formulation
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The DBT Assessment Phase
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Where DBT Fits In
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Contingency Management
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Skills Development Groups
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Interpersonal Effectiveness
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A break from Skills Development Groups
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Emotion Regulation
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Distress Tolerance
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Walking the Middle Path
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How to Do it
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Individual Sessions
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Relentless Problem Solving
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Chaining 2
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Putting it into Practice
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The Consultation Meeting
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The Checklist
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What have you earned by completing this course?
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Great course!
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useful, well organized
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It was beneficial
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Great course
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The course was useful
Added about 2 months ago, by Madison
This course was excellent

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