Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Skills for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) - individual therapy


Sessions held in Chelmsford, Essex


The overall objective of this programme is teach you how to reduce your pain and misery through the use of specific skills.


Intendend Results

In the Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder programme you will learn to:

  • Reduce your suicidal urges and self-harming behaviours
  • Stabilise your interpersonal relationships
  • Increase your level of self-respect
  • Increase your problem-solving and communications skills
  • Become more emotionally stable, and less emotionally reactive
  • Suffer fewer personal crises



The DBT for BPD course is structured around five phases of treatment:


Phase 1

Assessment (1-2 sessions), to evaluate the degree of 'fit' for DBT, appropriate to your problems and your goals. I assess, in particular, four areas

  • Confusion about Self
  • Impulsive Behaviour
  • Emotion Dysregulation
  • Interpersonal Difficulties


Phase 2

Pre-Treatment (1-6 sessions), in which you are socialised to the DBT model, and where I teach the 'bio-social' theory of DBT, and where we establish and enhance commitment to treatment.


Phase 3

Weekly psychotherapy sessions (approx. 24 sessions*)

Weekly Skills Training sessions (approx. 24 sessions*), in which the following skills are taught:

Module Content
Core Mindfulness

You are taught how to focus the mind, direct attention and how to nonjudgmentally observe and describe what you are feeling and thinking in the moment. These skills can help you develop a more stable sense of who you are, and can help reduce reactivity to painful thoughts and emotions.

The Core Mindfulness module covers:

  1. States of Mind
  2. What Skills
  3. How Skills
  4. Observing and Describing Thoughts
  5. Noticing and Managing Judgment
Distress Tolerance

We target impulsivity by teaching you how to effectively distract and soothe yourself while considering pros and cons of specific actions. These skills typically replace problem behaviors such as self-inflicted cutting, overly aggressive behaviours, and using alcohol or drugs.

The Distress Tolerance module covers:

  1. Crisis Survival Strategies
  2. Self-Soothe with the Senses
  3. Improve the Moment
  4. Thinking of Pros and Cons
  5. Pros and Cons Techniques
  6. Urge Management
  7. Observing Your Breathe Exercises
  8. Half-Smiling Exercises
  9. Awareness Exercises
  10. Radical Acceptance
  11. Reality Acceptance Techniques
  12. Willingness
  13. Finding Willingness Techniques
  14. Management of Obsessions
Emotion Regulation

Together, we address extreme emotional sensitivity, rapid mood changes, and other unregulated moods such as chronic depression, anxiety, or hostility. Examples of specific skills include learning to identify and label emotions, learning how to increase positive moods, and learning how to make yourself less vulnerable to negative moods.

The Emotion Regulation module covers:

  1. Healthy Perspectives on Emotion
  2. About Emotions
  3. How (ALL) Emotions Help Us
  4. Our Unique Responses
  5. Knowing the Difference
  6. Naming Emotions
  7. The Way Emotions Work
  8. Myths We Live By
  9. Strength Building Self-Statements
  10. Observing and Describing Emotions
  11. Reducing Vulnerability (Stay STRONG)
  12. Suggestions for Good Sleep
  13. My Plan for Staying out of Emotion Mind
  14. Mastering My World
  15. Steps for Increasing Positive Experiences
  16. Pleasant Events List
  17. Letting Go of Emotional Suffering
  18. Changing Emotions: Opposite to Emotion Action
  19. Opposite to Emotion Action Techniques
Interpersonal Effectiveness

Here we tackle difficulties in maintaining consistent and rewarding relationships by teaching skills such as how to ask for what you want, how to say no in a gentle yet effective manner, and how to maintain your sense of self-respect and independence in the face of external pressure.

The Interpersonal Effectiveness module covers:

  1. Goals of Interpersonal Effectiveness
  2. DEARMAN Skills
  3. DEARMAN Techniques
  4. GIVE Skills
  5. FAST Skills
  6. Goals and Priorities
  7. Factors in Reducing Interpersonal Effectiveness
  8. Myths about Interpersonal Effectiveness
  9. Self-Encouragement
  10. Observing and Describing Interpersonal Situations
  11. Expressing Emotions Effectively
  12. Guidelines for Sharing and Listening
  13. Extra Skills for Solving Conflicts with Others
  14. Choices about Intensity
  15. Interpersonal Effectiveness Practice


Phase 4

Telephone Coaching, designed to promote skills use where it matters most–in the real world. When you feel "stuck" and unsure what to do, you are encouraged to contact me for help in using DBT skills.


Phase 5

Family therapy - on an 'as-needed' basis to increase skills and improve communication between family members, and to reduce those family situations and interactions that interfere either with therapy or the quality of life, of both you and your family.


* Clients contract for an initial 24 sessions with an option to renew at the end of the skills cycle. At this point, you may well be eligible to enter the Advanced DBT Skills phase.


NICE Guidelines recommend Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)



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