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Comprehensive Training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

To enrol in this course participants must have completed a foundations training or equivalent.

This program has been developed by the Australian DBT Institute for mental health professionals looking to implement a range of DBT informed strategies in their current clinical practice or looking to start a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) program. Attendees who complete the final project meet the educational and personal application of DBT requirements for credentialing as DBT Practitioners. Click one of the locations below for all the dates for the next course!

This course has been developed for individual clinicians as well as teams over three phases. Phase One: Foundational Training. Phase Two: Implementation of a DBT or DBT Informed Approach. Phase Three: Evaluation and Extension.

The course aims to build on knowledge, skills, and confidence to effectively develop and implement a DBT program or effectively apply a DBT-informed approach to clients with emotion dysregulation and/or a diagnosis of borderline personality.

Included in the Australian DBT Institute’s program:

  • Equivillant of Three-Day Training Online (For individuals who have completed foundations, individual therapy and skills training workshops the initial 3 days of online training are not mandatory and recognition of prior learning through evidence of training is available)
  • Intensive Workshops (in person-based-program)
    • Phase Two Session One: Clarification before implementation (1 Day)
    • Phase Two Session Two: Implementation Practical (1 Day)
      Phase Three: Review and Extention Session (2 Days)
  • Zoom Supervision and Practice Implementation Support
    • 5 Sessions for in-person-based-program (Melbourne, Gold Coast & Singapore)
    • 12 Sessions for the online program
  • Credentialing of Clinicians in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) after a 12-month implementation of DBT (if you are a first-time DBT user you will need to complete this requirement before being able to be credentialed in DBT)
  • Access to Study Groups with other participants which is voluntary
  • Access to Program Delivery opportunities at the Australian DBT Institute (venue for the workshop or online)
  • Access to DBT Assist – Australian DBT Institute’s platform for teaching DBT Skills online

Course Prerequisites

  • Participants will be accepted from qualified Psychologists, Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Psychiatrists, General Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Youth Workers and other helping professionals.
  • Applicants are expected to be working with individuals with BPD/emotion dysregulation and looking to run a DBT informed program/activity implement DBT informed practice into the existing clinical setting
  • Have knowledge of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Participants are expected to have a basic understanding of DBT and to have attended either one of Marsha Linehan’s training courses or an Australian DBT Institute’s DBT Foundations workshops.

Topics covered:

  • Overview of DBT (Research, Theoretical Basis, Stages of Treatment, Structure)
  • Commitment
  • Skills Training
  • Individual Therapy
  • Phone Coaching
  • Contingencies
  • Middle Path (Behaviouralism, Dialectics & Validation)
  • Setting up your DBT Program


  • Essentials in DBT Training Online Training Package (equivalent to 3 Days CPD training hours)

Essentials in DBT Training focuses on the overall application of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy geared toward all participants having an understanding of, commitment to and benefits Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can have for your clients.

Part 1 of this course will consolidate clinicians’ DBT knowledge and offers a skills-based non‐judgemental approach to the management of clients with Emotion Regulation difficulties including individuals with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder as well as clients who are self-harming. In particular key concepts of Core Mindfulness and Distress Tolerance as acceptance-based modules; teaching clients how to live with reality “as it is” will be explored. Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness as change‐oriented modules, teaching clients how to alter themselves or their environments will also be addressed.

In part 1 we will go through all the structures, components, and resources required to run a successful DBT or DBT Informed program.

Specific Focus of Phase 1 of DBT Training

Stylistic strategies: How to reframe suicidal and other behaviours as part of the client’s learned ‘problem-solving repertoire. Participants will learn to balance active problem solving with validating the client’s current emotional state and behavioural responses. This session will teach you to blend a ‘matter‐of‐fact’, irreverent attitude towards current and previous dysfunctional behaviours with warmth, flexibility and responsiveness to the client.

Attention to contingencies: We will explore ways to influence behaviour. BPD individuals actively avoid threatening situations. This session will assist participants to expose the client in session and in vivo to fear eliciting stimuli. Participants will learn to arrange and encourage exposures.

Validation: This session will be an in‐depth practice of validating the client’s thoughts feelings and actions. Participants will learn to search for the grain of wisdom or truth in each client’s response and know how to communicate that to the client. The emphasis here is on building and maintaining a positive, interpersonal, collaborative relationship between client and therapist

Core Mindfulness Skills: Learn how to practice mindfulness with your clients every session. This session will focus on using skills to balance emotional mind and reasonable mind to achieve a wise mind. Participants will practice strategies through role play and observe and describe skills that will then be able to impart to clients.

Interpersonal effectiveness skills: Learn effective strategies for asking for what one needs, saying no and coping with conflict. Learn how to assist your clients in analysing a situation and determining goals for interpersonal effectiveness.

Emotion regulation skills: Suicidal behaviours are often behavioural solutions to intolerably painful emotions. Learn to assist clients in identifying the difference between their primary emotion (adaptive and appropriate to the context), and their secondary response (intense shame, anxiety, or rage). Learn ways of exposing your client to their primary emotion in a non-judgmental atmosphere.

Distress tolerance skills: The ability to tolerate and accept distress is essential. Learn how to teach clients to perceive their own environment without putting demands on it to be different. Learn how to teach clients to experience their own emotional state without attempting to change it, and to observe their own thoughts and action patterns without attempting to stop or control them.

Individual Therapy skills: This session seeks to extend participants’ knowledge of Individual Psychotherapy in DBT by exploring comprehensive DBT and its application to youth, families & adult populations which results in the engagement and retention of clients to complete therapy. Advanced knowledge in specific principles and strategies relevant to DBT skills training and coaching with youth and families, individual therapy, family sessions, and managing communication and coaching outside of session (e.g. phone calls, emails, texts, etc.) will be explored. Specific attention will be paid to teaching the skills of dialectics, validation, and behaviour change (“Middle Path”)

Format and organisation of sessions: Learn how to structure a session and stay on task. Learn how to use diary cards to maximise the success of a session. Participants will learn to manage issues that come up in session in a timely manner and how to conduct chain analysis of problem behaviours.


  • Session 2: Clarifications before implementation (1 Day)
  • Session 3: Implementation practical (1 Day)

During this phase, all attendees implement a DBT program/DBT informed practice within their workplace. Attendees are supported by an Australian DBT Institute trainer to implement their DBT program/informed practice. Where applicable, programs are to commence 2 weeks following initial training to ensure a full cycle is completed before the Phase 3 session.

Support includes:

–    Access to the Australian DBT Institute’s online resource center which has a range of activities and instructional videos to assist your weekly delivery of DBT skills and individual therapy.

–    Access to open consultation team meetings with the Australian DBT Institute in either one of our Brighton Clinic (Melbourne), Southport (Gold Coast) or attendance at participant-run consult groups.

As part of the implementation phase, each team is given two tasks. Firstly, to develop a clinical presentation of a client’s management using DBT and secondly, a presentation regarding the development and implementation of your DBT program/DBT-informed practice. An outline of the tasks is provided during Phase 3 of this program.

Two Program Review Days During Phase 2

Participants will attend two single days of review (usually one-two and three-four months following the initial Foundation sessions – click on the Melbourne and Gold Coast Programs above for dates) and clarification to troubleshoot any difficulties they may have running their DBT programs/implementing DBT informed practice. These sessions can be attended in person or via Zoom. Regular consult group sessions (voluntary attendance) held with other participants will inform the content of this review and clarification day.


PHASE 3: EVALUATION AND PROGRAM EXTENSION (2-day face to face review and training with the option of presenting your DBT or DBT Informed application over Zoom) 

  • Part 4: Approach evaluation & extension (2 Days for in-person program or online through Zoom for the online program)

On the final two days of this course (click on the Melbourne and Gold Coast Programs above for dates) in Phase 3: Evaluation and Program Extension, participants present their programs and a case presentation to the group

  • Consultancy to programs (Each individual/team will present their DBT Program/DBT informed practice and will be supported through consultancy to further enhance their program/informed practice)
  • Case Presentations (Each individual/team will present a client to explore the application of DBT and any challenges that may have arisen during their 6 months of treatment)

In addition, advanced content will be provided including a practical application of a trauma-informed DBT approach and using DBT for exposure and insight-based work.

Targeted Audience of the Course

This course is suitable for mental health professionals seeking to obtain a functional knowledge of DBT for use in clinical practice or to set up a DBT program. Individuals from a range of professional backgrounds who work in community-based services, including youth, family, homeless, aged, welfare, alcohol and substance, mental health, and disability have found this workshop applicable to their individual settings in the past. Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Mental Health OTs, Psychotherapists, Counsellors and Psychiatrists have all found this workshop useful!

Fequently Asked Questions

We have kept an eye on the Australian and international market for continuing professional development and have priced our workshops below that of many competitors. We currently do not receive government funding to deliver our workshops.

The most cost-effective way to register for one of CMHE’s workshops is to do so early. The dates and prices for our workshops are non-negotiable. Student places and groups of 5 or more are only offered at the early bird rate until two weeks before each workshop.

  • Pre-December Early Bird Registration $1,499 incl. GST (36% Discount)
  • Early Registrations $1,899 incl. GST (20% discount until 2 weeks before the workshop)
  • Last-Minute Registrations $2,369 incl. GST (Full price within 2 weeks of the workshop)

We have been delivering workshops since 1999 and have trialed a range of approaches including printing materials and providing them electronically to support all attendees’ development. To keep our prices low and avoid printing extensive resources, our service provides online access to all materials from this workshop via our CMHE Academy website.

If not having a printout of workshop resources prior to the workshop impacts your capacity to participate in this workshop, please contact our admin team at and they will send you a pdf version of the slides (no cost). Alternately, a workshop manual can be printed by our team and sent to you at the cost of $40 (includes postage).

No, we do not provide lunch for participants attending our workshops and courses. We do however arrange tea, coffee, and water from the beginning of each full-day workshop until the lunch break. Some locations also offer morning tea at an affordable rate so do offer morning tea at times.

Participants are given the option of a longer lunch or to order lunch at the morning tea break from local establishments and have their meal delivered to the training room.

We provide an electronic certificate to all participants of our workshops. Certificates can be downloaded from CMHE Academy and if you ever need to print them again you can do so from your CMHE Academy account.

Each year the Centre for Mental Health Education provides CPD opportunities to over 1,000 mental health professionals who claim their education with CMHE as CPD hours. All mental health professionals attending our CPD opportunities are eligible to claim CPD hours if the course/workshop/retreat is relevant to their work as mental health or counselling professionals. There is legislation and AHPRA acknowledgement of this very statement.

To record a professional development activity towards your CPD hours, members of mental health professional and counselling bodies are required to ensure the activity is relevant to them and is consistent with the categories defined in your particular professional body’s CPD Policy.

Health practitioners registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency must undertake continuing professional development (CPD). The CPD requirements of each National Board are detailed in the Registration Standards for each profession, published on each Board’s website (see below links for AHPRA CPD Statements). For professions not registered under AHPRA, their associations have professional development requirements.

Centre for Mental Health Education (CMHE) and our affiliates no longer seek the external endorsement of mental health professionals and counselling bodies due to AHPRA’s acknowledgement that when activities are relevant to your clinical practice they do not require such endorsement. Members of all mental health professional and counselling registration bodies can still accrue CPD hours by participating in activities of the Centre for Mental Health Education. Your CPD activity must be determined to be relevant to your individual professional requirements. 

All CMHE programs have been developed by qualified mental health professionals who are currently practising in their professional area, hold post-graduate qualifications, and are peer-reviewed. If CMHE courses are relevant to your practice as a mental health professional then our courses meet the requirements of mental health professional and counselling registration bodies as outlined by the Australian Health Practitioner legislation.

Please check with your professional leader or registered professional organisation for recommendations.

AHPRA CPD Statements

Non-government Associations & Professional Bodies CPD Statements

To enrol in the DBT Comprehensive Training click on one of the options below

This program has been developed by the Australian DBT Institute for mental health professionals looking to implement a range of DBT informed strategies in their current clinical practice or looking to start a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) program. Attendees who complete the final project meet the educational and personal application of DBT requirements for credentialing as DBT Practitioners. Click one of the locations below for all the dates for the next course!