Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)


In mid 2015, Footprints identified that the community sector may have the capacity to bridge a gap in service delivery by facilitating the skill development group component of the Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) workshop to interested participants. In the past, clients and case managers have reported not being able to afford the cost of the fully adherent 12 month hospital based program or that they did not meet eligibility.

The Actioning, Recovery and Citizenship program at Footprints are proud to be offering a DBT Life Skills Group to people experiencing mental health challenges around managing distress, relationships and regulating emotions. This type of group is unique in that it is the first of its kind in Brisbane. The difference between the hospital DBT group and Footprints DBT Life Skills Group is that the Footprints DBT Life Skills Group offers a skills only group whereby the hospital program offer ongoing therapy and skills group simultaneously.

DBT Life Skills Group consists of 4 modules including Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness and Emotion Regulation and is based on Marsha M. Linehan’s stand-alone DBT skills group. The group is aimed at teaching participants a range of practical skills in mindfulness, managing crisis situations, relationship effectiveness and reducing emotional arousal. Participants learn skills for how to tolerate painful events, urges and emotions and change behaviours, emotions and thoughts found to be ineffective in achieving the outcomes they want.

The Distress Tolerance module started in August 2015 running for 8 weeks and Interpersonal Effectiveness immediately after for 8 weeks also. The Emotion Regulation module begins in February 2016 and will run for 10 weeks. Attendance rates were high at both modules completed so far. Pre and post evaluations showed participants reported significant improvements when practicing the skills taught in real life situations. Participants reported learning new concepts and that the content presented has greatly contributed towards reaching their recovery goals. Challenges faced by participants were completing homework, the concept and practice of radical acceptance, role plays within the group and being kind to oneself.

Further Information

If you are interested in discussing the project further and/or Footprints involvement, please feel free to contact Carissa Griffiths; Mental Health Coordinator on 3252 3488 or carissag@footprintsinc.org.au  

  • 24 Light Street Fortitude Valley Qld 4006
    PO Box 735 New Farm 4005
  • (07) 3252 3488
  • ABN 15 100 277 492


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