DBT Spotlight Blog Series: Helpful DBT Resources

It's the final day of the DBT Spotlight Blog Series and as much as I wish I could share everything about DBT in five days, it's just not possible. I hope you will continue to learn more about DBT and begin using it to create your own "life worth living." Here are five of my favorite DBT books, three that are targeted at clinicians and two that are targeted at both clinicians and clients, that I hope you will find helpful when continuing your journey with DBT:

For clinicians:

1. Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder by Marsha M. Linehan (1993).

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Description: While this book is dense, it is the starting point for clinicians wanting to dive right into learning DBT. A great introductory resource, this is Dr. Linehan's comprehensive book that reviews DBT and its application to Borderline Personality Disorder. It describes specific strategies for contingency management, exposure, cognitive modification, and skills training as well as other treatment strategies.

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Description: This book is a step-by-step guide to teaching clients the four sets of DBT skills: interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. A vital component in Dr. Linehan’s comprehensive treatment program, the manual details precisely how to implement DBT behavioral skills training procedures. It provides everything the clinician needs to implement the program in skills training groups or with individual clients. Included are lecture notes, discussion questions, exercises, and practical advice on dealing with frequently encountered problems. In a large-size format with lay-flat binding for easy photocopying, the book features over three dozen reproducible client handouts and homework sheets.

3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice: Applications across Disorders and Settings by Linda A. Dimeff Phd, Kelly Koerner PhD, and Marsha M. Linehan PhD (2007). 

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Description:  This practical book, which is edited by close collaborators of Dr. Linehan, presents applications for depression, substance dependence, eating disorders, psychosis, suicidal and assaultive behaviors, and other complex problems. Leading contributors, including Linehan herself, describe how to implement this evidence-based treatment with adults, adolescents, couples and families, and forensic clients. Issues in establishing and maintaining an effective DBT program are also addressed.

For clinicians and clients:

4. The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Distress Tolerance by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley (2007).

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Description: A collaborative effort from three esteemed authors, this workbook offers straightforward, step-by-step exercises for learning DBT concepts and putting them to work for real and lasting change. This workbook begins by working on introductory exercises prior to moving on to the advanced-skills chapters. Whether you are a professional or a general reader, whether you use this book to support work done in therapy or as the basis for self-help, you'll benefit from this clear and practical guide to better managing your emotions. This workbook has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit — an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. 

5. Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for Helping You Manage Mood Swings, Control Angry Outbursts, and Get Along with Others by Sheri Van Dijk (2011). 

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Description: This easy-to-read DBT-based workbook targeted at teens offers easy techniques to help: Stay calm and mindful in difficult situations, effectively manage out-of-control emotions, reduce the pain of intense emotions, and get along with family and friends.

Here are a couple of great online DBT resources, too:

  • Behavioral Tech, LLC. | behavioraltech.org Behavioral Tech's website is a great resource for clinicians and clients alike. You can learn more about the organization, DBT, and DBT trainings, and buy products.
  • DBT Self-Help | dbtselfhelp.com This site is created primarily by people who have learned and applied DBT themselves, not DBT professionals. It offers great overviews and easy-to-understand explanations of DBT skills, and many printer-friendly versions of handouts, including review tools and exercises.

This wraps-up the DBT Spotlight Blog Series. I hope the series has provided you with a better understanding of this modality, encouraged you to learn even more about it (yes there is more - a lot more to learn about DBT), and motivated you to use it in your own life. If you have any questions or comments, you know what to do - drop me a line in the comments section below and I'll be happy to get back to you.

Here's to creating a life worth living!