7 Courses Required

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
  • coaching
  • 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.

To complete the DBT Certificate, you must complete all seven workshops.

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 fswprofessionaldevelopment@wlu.ca.

These 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.

You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years. You do not have to be working toward the DBT Certificate to take any of these workshops.

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.

Completing this DBT certificate will not qualify you to register with 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 through remote and in-person (Kitchener) delivery options.

For more information about this certificate contact the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development office:

Email: fswprofessionaldevelopment@wlu.ca
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext. 5234

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