Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan for complex mental health clients engaging in suicidal behaviour; it is the only evidenced-based intervention for borderline personality disorder. More recently, DBT has been adapted for the adult and adolescent population that struggle with other disorders of emotion dysregulation, such as substance use, bipolar, binge eating disorder, and other mood disorders. DBT is focused on increasing people’s ability to manage and tolerate their emotions more effectively, deal with distressing situations without making them worse, and forming and sustaining healthier interpersonal relationships. It accomplishes this through a comprehensive treatment modality that is housed within a strong and genuine therapeutic relationship.
DBT is comprised of four independent, yet interconnected, modes of intervention:
- individual therapy
- skills training
- consultation teams
This program will help you understand the functional rationale for each of these modes of intervention, as well as have an opportunity to practice the skills through role plays and group work and begin to apply this knowledge to real world examples and case studies.
An Introduction to DBT (or an approved equivalent) is a prerequisite to all other workshops, which are advanced level trainings that build on the knowledge in the introduction workshop. For information on approved equivalents, email email@example.com.
DBT Therapy Interfering Behaviours is an advanced level DBT workshop. To take this workshop, you must be an active therapist and have completed An Introduction to DBT (or an approved equivalent), DBT Skills Training: Part 1, DBT Skills Training: Part 2 and DBT Individual Therapy. This workshop applies the principles learned throughout the certificate to therapy interfering and destroying behaviour. You must already have learned those principles and strategies to be able to fully engage in this workshop.
All other workshops can be taken in any order. However, it should be noted that the best experience is to follow the order that is outlined in the list to the right to maximize the learning; each workshop builds upon the prerequisite skills of the one before.
To complete the DBT Certificate, you must complete all seven workshops. You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years.
Participation and Attendance
Full attendance and participation are required to complete these workshops. Participants are requested, as much as possible, to have their cameras on. We know there are situations where this is not possible, so please send a message to your instructor or the Professional Development host to let them know that you are unable to turn on your camera. Our workshops are interactive and include breakout rooms, role play, group discussions and other activities. Participation is required.
After completing this certificate, you will not be allowed to identify yourself as a certified DBT therapist. The only approved DBT certification is through the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification. We have designed this certificate to meet the educational requirements of the certification process, as well as to begin to prepare you for the certification exam. Please see the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification website for complete details about DBT certification.
Becoming a Therapist
Completing this DBT certificate will not qualify you to register with any college or association, including the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers or the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Please visit those websites for information on becoming a therapist in Ontario.
The DBT certificate workshops are available remotely through Zoom.
For more information about this certificate contact the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development office:
See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.