- DBT Essentials -

25 modules


Dr William Davies



DBT is a powerful therapeutic approach originally developed by Marsha Linehan for the treatment of borderline personality disorder and now applied across a range of challenging conditions. It relies on teaching core life skills such as mindfulness, how to regulate your emotions, how to tolerate distress, and how to be effective interpersonally, and then helping patients maintain their motivation and resolve ongoing problems as they apply these skills in a planned way. All against the background of having regular consultation meetings with your colleagues to maintain quality stands and resolve problems.

The APT has mastered the delivery of DBT training 'online anytime'; providing top class training you can access right now or any time that suits you. No longer do you have to wait for 'the start date' of the course.

"I learned so much in the course. Though I had some previous knowledge of DBT, it truly clarified so much of the skills and theory of DBT"

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training from the Association for Psychological Therapies (APT), includes APT accreditation, certification, and resources. And the APT has perfected the art of delivering it in a way that makes it appear simple and easy to apply.

"Very helpful, insightful, organised and easy to follow. Will definitely be using this knowledge and these resources with my clients. Highly recommend!"

With a wealth of clinical experience, Dr William Davies presents the course with relevant stories and examples of using DBT and an engaging lightness which perfectly complements the power of the subject.


"I enjoyed the presenter and overall format of the class. It was easy to follow and gave good examples of practising the components of DBT."

This course gives you a thorough introduction to DBT, it is APT-accredited, and gives you access to important resources for you to use post-course. Whether you simply want to broaden your knowledge or take your first step to establishing a full DBT service this course is for you. The course can be studied by teams or individuals and can also be completed as part of APT's Extended Training in DBT course and The APT Diploma in Psychological Therapies.

For further information on the format of APT online training, the APT’s guarantee to you, and how to make a group booking, click here.



Click ‘add to cart’ to purchase by card or PayPal. (If you are ordering for somebody else - or a group - create an account and select ‘Bulk Purchase’ once you have proceeded to cart.)

If you would like to be invoiced please email finance@apt.ac stating; the course title, how many places you require, your organisation's purchase order number, and the name and address for the invoice to be sent to.


The DBT Essentials course covers a great deal:


  • Definition of validation, and why it is important.
  • Validation and its dialectical balance with problem solving and change strategies.
  • Linehan's Biopsychosocial model of Borderline Personality Disorder, and how validation fits in with it.
  • The implication of invalidating environments for a child, and for the adult.
  • What constitutes an invalidating environment, including 'ideal' environments ... and a validating one, including how to create it.
  • Exercises on creating validating responses to specific statements.
  • Different ways of validating.
  • Using validation in your own situation.


  • How metaphors work and why we should use them.
  • 6 Examples of metaphors.
  • 4 Metaphors you can use repeatedly, for common problem situations.
  • General principles of metaphors, including visual metaphors.
  • Metaphors exercise.
  • A case example, to illustrate the use of validation and metaphor.

Relentless problem solving.

  • The five stage problem solving strategy.
  • Forms for clients (and you) to use with problem solving.
  • Problem solving exercise.
  • Personal experience of problem solving: exercise.

Contingency management.

  • Video demonstration of differential reinforcement in a clinical setting.
  • The nature of contingency management and how it interacts with the conscious or unconscious motivations of the client.
  • Behavioural analysis, especially as a response to severe behaviour such as parasuicidal behaviour.
  • Chain analysis and solution analysis.
  • Case example.

Emotion-regulation exercise, especially including the focus on biological elements such as: sleep, exercise, illnesses, circadian rhythm.

Interpersonal effectiveness exercise. To be effective interpersonally proves to be a key skill, and the research evidence is impressive on this. It is therefore one of the four skills taught in DBT, addressing frequent interpersonal issues.


  • A definition and description of mindfulness and the best purposes it can fulfil.
  • Kabat-Zinn's descriptions of mindfulness.
  • Mindfulness and its role in balancing 'the emotional mind' with 'the reasonable mind' to achieve 'the wise mind'.
  • The three 'What' skills of mindfulness.
  • The three 'How' skills of mindfulness.
  • Mental Health problems to which mindfulness can be applied.
  • An on-going introspective exercise in mindfulness.

Distress tolerance.

  • 'Distraction behaviours' that may be used to contradict and neutralise distress.
  • 'Radical' distress tolerance: doing nothing. How to do nothing: the fact of this turning out to be an effective approach for many people, and the theory behind it.

Walking the Middle Path

  • What this means, why it is important, and an overview of some of the exercises involved.

Other important therapist-skills in DBT.

  • Telephone support and other ways of helping patients apply the skills they learn ‘in the classroom’ to their real lives.
  • Chaining: how to analyse the chain of events that led up to ‘an incident’, highlight the points at which the patient could behave differently the next time something similar occurs, and optimise the chances of them doing so.
  • How to order competing priorities: deciding which of several severe problems to tackle first.
  • Life-threatening behaviours, therapy-threatening behaviours, and behaviours that interfere with the quality of life.
  • The patient-therapist agreement - our role in it.
  • Assumptions we can make about the patient - and those we can't.

What the DBT Essentials course will do for you:

  • You will have the feeling of knowing what DBT is all about, and understanding it.

  • You will be able to create validating environments - environments that make people feel good.
  • You will be able to validate other people - to have them feel as though you are on the same wavelength as they are.
  • You will be able to quickly have people 'see things differently'.
  • You will be able to (help people to) solve problems.
  • You will be able to respond to people who have just done very severe behaviours in a way which is caring yet does not reinforce the severe behaviour.
  • You will be able to (help people to) bring some sense of order and predictability to emotions.
  • You will have the chance to begin practising mindfulness.
  • You will be able to (help others to) tolerate distress much better. Not to allow distress to get into a 'vicious spiral'.
  • You will be able to order competing priorities amongst several 'top priorities'.
  • If you want to set up a fully fledged DBT service, you will have taken the first step and be able to see the path ahead.



Click ‘add to cart’ to purchase by card or PayPal. (If you are ordering for somebody else - or a group - create an account and select ‘Bulk Purchase’ once you have proceeded to cart.)

If you would like to be invoiced please email finance@apt.ac stating; the course title, how many places you require, your organisation's purchase order number, and the name and address for the invoice to be sent to.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Level 2 APT Accreditation (18 hours CPD)

Learning Credits

Welcome and Intro
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What is DBT
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Assessment and Formulation
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The DBT Assessment Phase
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Where DBT Fits In
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Contingency Management
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Skills Development Groups
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Interpersonal Effectiveness
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A break from Skills Development Groups
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Emotion Regulation
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Distress Tolerance
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Walking the Middle Path
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How to Do it
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Individual Sessions
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Relentless Problem Solving
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Chaining 2
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Putting it into Practice
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The Consultation Meeting
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Applying what we have covered, reliably
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What have you earned by completing this course
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Added 22 days ago, by Jayani
Good course
Added about 2 months ago, by Mariya
Really enjoyed this course and found it very reach, informative and easy to follow.
Added 6 months ago, by Anonymous
Thank you for a the insightful program
Added 6 months ago, by Anonymous
Added 7 months ago, by Anonymous
Added 11 months ago, by Robyn
well presented and paced
Added 12 months ago, by Talia
Very informative, thoroughly enjoyed the course

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