What is a DBT Skills Group like?
This is one of the most common questions I get asked by potential DBT Clients. They are often concerned that DBT Skills Groups (an essential component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is like other kinds of groups they have participated in or heard about; in particular, people often visualize something they have seen in a movie :a crowded, sterile medical facility or a small cramped office with people jammed in like sardines. They imagine that there is a lot of sharing of personal stories and that it is very depressing.
We are VIRTUAL!
Our DBT Skills Training Groups are held weekly by Zoom. Although it started out as a temporary solution to COVID 19 , clients have been happy with the convenience and simplicity of learning this way. DBT Skills Training Group Leaders model an irreverent approach to life when they are leading skills training- from the stories and examples we use to helping clients leverage the skills in their own life situations. Our groups are interactive and we bring all of our life knowledge and experience to this combination of lecture and teaching, film clips, experiential exercises, and mindfulness practice. And we laugh a lot!
“Why have the DBT Skills Group at all? I don’t like Groups. I’m afraid people are looking at me and judging me”
This is another important question and here is the scoop: DBT Skills group is where you get desensitized to being around people and worrying about what they think. Our DBT Skills Training Groups are full of ordinarily extraordinary people – high functioning people – who have one thing in common: they all want to learn new skills to improve their lives. They want better tools for emotion regulation, increased ability to live in the present moment with full awareness, reduced suffering, and improved relationship quality.
The DBT Skills Group is necessary to achieve MAXIMUM learning. Adult learning theory suggests that adults learn best when they are with other adults in a similar context. Often when a client graduates from San Jose DBT Skills Training that graduate will say, ” I never thought I could do a group but it helped me the most to hear other people’s reports on how they practiced and used the skills”. What they are saying is that the group members played a key role in learning the material.
“What is required of ME in the group? Do I have to listen to other people’s horror stories?”
After 15 years of being the longest running DBT program in the south bay area and peninsula it still astonishes me how a skills training class can feel so warm, connected and validating. Here is what we require: 1. Show up 2. Stay until the end 3. Do homework 4. Report on it in class 5. Then go back to number 1.
In DBT Skills Training we tell participants to just “throw yourself in”. Do it all the way. And we know it is hard. And we know judgments will inevitably arise in ourselves and other DBT Skills Group members. And we just ask you to try as best you can to take a non-judgmental stance about the whole thing and about yourself!
DBT Skills Group teaches the skills that you will practice, with the help and support of your DBT therapist, in your everyday life. Your individual DBT therapist helps you generalize the skills to day-to-day situations and problems. DBT Skills Group is the cornerstone of the DBT Treatment.
Still not sure if DBT Skills Groups are for you? Call Me! I’ll give you examples of how these very skills help people who GET THEIR LIVES BACK!. You can do it. Call me at (408) 351-8785 or fill out the contact form here.