What is Comprehensive DBT?

The Northern Beaches Comprehensive DBT Program follows Marsha Linehan’s protocol and includes all the essential components of DBT:

Individual Therapy

Each client attends weekly individual therapy sessions with a member of the DBT team for a period of at least six months. These sessions are highly tailored to each individuals needs with an aim to help them to utilise skills learned in group in order to achieve their specific goals. The sessions follow a DBT structure and may draw on other evidence-based approaches depending on the phase of treatment and individual needs.

Skills Training

Skills are taught in a small group setting (6-10 participants). Skills groups are facilitated by two members of the DBT team. These weekly group sessions support the work clients do in individual sessions with their DBT therapist.  Learning the skills in a structured and organized format each week allows the individual sessions to focus on personalizing and problem solving for each client’s unique situation. The groups are run like a tutorial with manuals, handouts and homework practice tasks each week.  Each session includes a mindfulness practice, homework review and skills teaching.

Skills are taught in 3 modules (each 6-8 weeks) over a period of six months. Session duration is 2 hours.  It is essential to complete all modules in order to learn the skills. There is an option to repeat all three modules over a further six months in order to consolidate the skills.

There are four groups of skills taught in DBT:

        • Mindfulness – Learn how to be more aware of emotions and reactions in situations so that you can make effective choices for building the life you want to live
        • Distress Tolerance – Develop a tool box of strategies for coping with strong emotions, urges and distress as they can at times be a part of building your life worth living
        • Emotion Regulation – Understand the emotions you experience on a day to day basis, how to reduce your vulnerability to being overwhelmed by emotions, increase positive emotions and change emotions that you want to change
        • Interpersonal Effectiveness – Learn how to manage relationships in positive ways that can increase your ability to get your needs met while maintaining healthy relationships and improving self respect

Skills Coaching

The aim of skills coaching it to help clients to generalise skills learned in group to those moments in daily life when they most need them. Individual therapists work with their clients to coach them how to best do this.

Daily Diary Cards

Individual therapist work with clients to develop a “diary” to monitor their own progress towards their goals and their development of skilful behaviours.

Therapist Weekly Consultation Meeting

All members of the Northern Beaches DBT Comprehensive team meet weekly. The aim is to constantly support and improve the therapists’ skills and ensure their adherence to the DBT protocol.


Who can benefit from Comprehensive DBT?

People who may benefit from the Northern Beaches Comprehensive DBT program include individuals who are unable to skilfully regulate their emotions and because of this have problems with relationships, impulsive or mood dependent or self-damaging behaviours.

In order to determine if the Comprehensive DBT program could be an effective treatment for you, a minimum of two assessment sessions are needed to review information such as: 

  • treatment history 
  • presenting problems 
  • diagnoses 
  • goals for treatment
  • DBT philosophy and structure
  • Program guidelines and commitments

During these assessment sessions your Clinician will help you work out whether the Comprehensive DBT program is the right treatment for you. They are also able to discuss less intensive DBT informed approaches and other treatment options that may suit you




Our DBT Team

The DBT Team strives to provide the highest quality of care in order to help each individual to achieve their treatment goals and to build the life they want to live.

The Northern Beaches DBT Program was established in 2019 when our original team members, Alison Batt, Jo Gorrell, Michelle Meyer and Lindsay Pieper, attended Behavior Techs Intensive Training in Sydney with Carla Walton PhD, Kristen Davis PhD and Tony DuBose PsyD.

All of the clinicians involved in the Comprehensive DBT Program have completed or are currently completing Behavioural Techs DBT training with an aim to ensure that we closely follow the treatment manual and the protocols developed in DBT research.

Current Northern Beaches Comprehensive DBT program team members are:

Michelle Meyer
Jo Gorrell
Sylvi Borda
Jo Thompson
Ashley Bogle


Contact us at The Psychological Health Centre about the Comprehensive DBT Program

about our Comprehensive DBT program