Theories and Principles of DBT
Run by School of Psychology
30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Prof Michaela Swales
Overall aims and purpose
This module aims to assist students to conceptualise the difficulties of clients with a borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis using the core theories and principles underpinning Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and to structure a treatment programme around these theories and principles.
The module teaches students to translate the theoretical foundations into a structured programme of clinical care for clients with a BPD diagnosis or for other client groups who are multiply impulsive and comorbid. The module also addresses the application of each core theory within the treatment (problem-solving, validation, dialectics, mindfulness), outlines the range of therapeutic strategies within the treatment and describes the contexts in which they apply.
The essay is well organised and structured demonstrating reasonably comprehensive coverage. The candidate demonstrates understanding of the relationship between theory and practice within the treatment.
The chain and solution analysis demonstrates moderately comprehensive coverage of problematic links and solutions. There may be some minor errors in conceptualization or solution selection.
Essays at this level are highly competent demonstrating a good understanding of the theoretical aspects of the treatment and their application in clinical practice. The essay question is explicitly answered and has a coherent structure and line of argument that is adhered to throughout and shows a relationship between successive parts allowing for ease of comprehension.
The chain and solution analysis is relatively comprehensive demonstrating a range of different solutions for problematic links in the chain. The conceptualization is clear and mostly accurate and solutions are accurately matched to links.
Essays at this level are of an extremely high standard exceeding that expected by the candidate. The student demonstrates an extremely thorough and comprehensive understanding of the theoretical components of the treatment and how they relate to clinical practice. The essay has excellent structure, a clear line of argument and no spelling or grammatical errors.
The chain and solution analysis is detailed and comprehensive using all four change procedures as appropriate and demonstrates a balance of acceptance and change procedures. The detail and accuracy of specification of links and selection of solutions demonstrates an excellent grasp of the problem-solving aspects of the treatment.
- Critically evaluate the importance of the key theories underpinning DBT (behaviourism, mindfulness, self-verification theory and dialectics).
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the application of the main treatment strategies stemming from these theories in clinical practice.
Complete the self-assessment examination in DBT. This examination allows students to assess their current level of knowledge of the treatment and identify areas for further study and can be taken at any time following the first residential block but before the second module (Clinical Applications of DBT). An answer key will be provided for students to assess their own performance and any further questions will be answered during Clinical Applications of DBT. The assignment will not be marked.
Students will choose from a list of titles for the assignment.
|CASE STUDY||Behavioural Chain & Solution Analysis||
Written behavioural and solution analysis demonstrating a clear conceptualization of the function of a client’s behaviour and a comprehensive use of solutions
|FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT||Implementation Log||
Submission of DBT Implementation log outlining students participation in DBT programme, consultation team, skills class and cases treated. This is a formative assignment and feedback will be provided.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Students are provided with an extensive reading list to enable adequate preparation for the assignments.
The seminar is held over 5 days and is residential or virtual. During teaching hours a range of strategies are used to instruct students; didactic, small group exercises and discussions, demonstration role-plays and video's of relevant skills.
During the teaching students work as part of their work-based teams to plan their implementation of DBT after teaching is over. They are provided with a series of work-place based assignments to assist them in setting up a DBT treatment programme and to commence treating patients using the learning gained during the 5 days of teaching.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
- Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
- Retrieve and organise information effectively.
- Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
- Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
Resource implications for students
Students have to fund their subsistence and accommodation costs at the 5 day residential training separately to the module. All students are aware of this beforehand and for most students these costs are met by their employer.
Dimeff, L. & Koerner, K. (2008) Clinical Applications of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy New York: Guilford Press Chapters 1-3.
Heard, L. & Swales, M. (2015). Changing Behaviour in DBT: Problem Solving in Action. New York: Guilford Press.
Linehan, M.M.(1993a). Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder New York: Guilford Press
Linehan, M. M. (1993). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder New York: Guilford Press.
Pryor, K. (1999). Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub.
Swales, M.A. & Heard, H.L. (2017). Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: The CBT Distinctive Features Series (W. Dryden Ed.). Second edition. London: Routledge
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
- PHP-4202: Adv. Clinical Skills in DBT
- PMP-4015: Mindfulness & DBT Ind Therapy
- PHP-4201: Clinical Applications of DBT
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C8DV: PGDip Dialectical Behaviour Therapy year 1 (DIP/DBT)