DBT Skills Training Class

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills teach individuals how to manage their emotions, relationships, and distress in effective and meaningful ways.  Emotional sensitivity and/or chronic invalidation can cause individuals to develop maladaptive coping styles in attempts to manage emotions. Through a compassionate approach, DBT helps individuals to re-train themselves with healthier skills in order to build a more meaningful life while avoiding destructive behavior. 

This class is designed to help you cope better with any of the following symptoms:

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  •  Emotional Instability

  •  A Pattern of Unstable Relationships 

  • Chronic Feelings of Emptiness 

  • Strong Reactivity to Stress 

  • Difficulty Controlling and Letting Go of Emotions 

  • Intense Fear of Abandonment 

  • Self Esteem Issues

  • Mood-Driven and Impulsive Behaviors

  • Depression, Anxiety, Trauma and Grief Issues 

While these skills are an invaluable part of building a life with less suffering, these psycho-educational classes are not a replacement for therapy. Therefore it is strongly recommend that participants be involved in concurrent outpatient counseling.

About Classes

Skills training education is focused on three separate modules: Emotion Regulation (10 week course), Distress Tolerance  (8 week course) and Interpersonal Effectiveness (8 week course); Each module incorporates the skill of Core Mindfulness.  Participants will meet weekly for a 90 minute class.  Enrollment is open at the beginning of each module. Each group begins with a mindfulness exercise, a review of the previous week’s lesson and introduction of new material.  Brief homework is assigned to help individuals practice and reinforce the skills during the week. With your permission, your therapist would receive an email from the skills trainer weekly, identifying what skills were taught and what homework was assigned so that you might also get direct support from your therapist while learning these skills. 


Benefits of DBT 

DBT is an evidence-based method that has been proven to help individuals make positive and long term behavioral changes by replacing ineffective coping strategies with DBT skills. Goals of DBT include replacing destructive behaviors with healthier means of coping, increasing and enhancing emotion regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness skills to create a life worth living.  

About Each Skill

Mindfulness Skills focus on the quality of our awareness and presence in life.  Mindfulness helps train us to decrease self-defeating thoughts and prolonged worries about the future as well as depressive thoughts about the past. 

Emotion Regulation Skills help us to identify and label current emotions, identify obstacles to changing emotions, reduce emotional reactivity, decrease emotional intensity and accumulate more positive emotions.

Distress Tolerance Skills concentrate on accepting the current reality and finding ways to survive and tolerate the moment without making things worse.  While all other modules focus on building a life worth living, distress tolerance skills teach us how to avoid tearing apart our life. 

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills teach us to better identify and more effectively ask for what we need, set limits while enhancing relationships and resolve interpersonal conflict. 

Pricing and Payment Information

Participants can sign up prior to the beginning of each module. At this time you will schedule a screening interview and orientation with Kristen Joyce. Payment for this session is required at that time. Payment for each module is required prior to the beginning of the classes.

  • Screening Interview and Orientation - $80.00 (one 50 - 60 minute session)
  • Emotion Regulation Module - $600.00 (Ten 90 minute classes)
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Module - $480.00 (Eight 90 minute classes)
  • Distress Tolerance Module - $480.00 (Eight 90 minute classes)

To Learn More About Enrollment

For more information or to apply for enrollment, please contact Kristen Joyce.  Participants will complete a required screening interview/orientation session prior to enrollment in the group. 

About the Skills Trainer 

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Kristen Joyce is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor working in this field since 2004 and in the Pioneer Valley since 2007. She provides strength-based goal- oriented psychotherapy with people of all ages individually, in couples or with family members. Kristen has been in private practice since 2010 and working within ServiceNet’s DBT team since 2011. Kristen works flexibly within different therapeutic perspectives to help people recognize and use their own innate strengths to decrease excessive experience of negative emotions, effectively manage conflicts in their lives, and generally increase enjoyment in life and confidence in their own wellness and wisdom.