Welcome! We are glad that you are interested in this group and are looking forward to what you have to share with us all. Groups are a great way to work on personal growth in various areas of our lives.
Groups offer support, connection, accountability, and differing perspectives because each group member is unique and contributes to the group in their own way. We invite and encourage you to be an active participant of the group by practicing the skills you will learn both inside and outside of group.
Our goal is not to just help you manage crisis. Rather, our goal is to help each other create a life worth living. This Skills Training Group is a modified format of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training group. DBT was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan and is a biosocial theory used to treat an array of cognitive and behavioral problems. For the most part, we will be following the Skills Training curriculum created by Dr. Linehan as a means of improving our lives in the following areas:
1. Mindfulness Skills: decrease feelings of emptiness, irrational thinking, and identity confusion; increase learning how to control the attention process and rely on accurate perceptions. (2 weeks, repeated at the start of each Module)
2. Distress Tolerance Skills: decrease impulsive and destructive behaviors to self and others; increase ability to tolerate distress until it subsides. (6 weeks)
3. Emotion Regulation Skills: decrease feelings of instability, mood swings, anxiety and being emotionally “shut down”; increase accurately identifying, accepting, and expressing emotions. (7 weeks)
4. Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: decrease feelings of internal chaos, chaotic relationships, and fears of abandonment; increase skills for maintaining healthy and balanced relationships. (5 weeks)
This group meets for 60 minutes, once per week. Current adolescent group available is Monday Evening from 630-730pm. Current adult group is Tuesday Evening from 630-730pm. Group schedule is typically:
• Mindfulness Activity
• Homework Review
• Teach new skills
• Examples/role play new skills
• Go over new homework
• Group Checkout
In order to participate in group, individuals must be present for the 2 week mindfulness module. If enrolled in group, and you miss the first 2 weeks you will be removed until the group is in the mindfulness module. If you miss the first 2 weeks 2x for a total of four missed mindfulness weeks, you will be removed from the wait list and not allowed into group again for a year. The total time to complete all four modules is 24 weeks and you must complete this to officially graduate from DBT.
Personal Growth and Progress
One of the goals of this group is to provide an environment where group members enhance their learning and awareness. Therefore, as leader of the group, I hope to have collaborative relationships with all group members – active participation by all members and the counselor. I hope each of you will collaborate with me on your group goals and carry out any “homework” assignments. The following is a list of therapyenhancing behaviors:
• Making progress towards personal group goals
• Asking for help
•Trying out suggestions given by the counselor or other group members
• Keeping agreements made to the counselors and the group
• Showing a sense of humor
• Attending group on time
• Respecting other people’s opinions
Some of these therapy-enhancing behaviors may come naturally to you and others you may have to learn. The following behaviors are examples of therapy-interfering behaviors that will decrease your success of achieving your goals and may even lead to termination from the group. Please be aware of these therapy-interfering behaviors:
• Nonattentive behaviors – dropping out of group prematurely; not attending group; continuous disruptive crises; threatening suicide on a regular basis; taking mindaltering substances; walking out of group sessions; dissociating during group meetings or having panic attacks during group.
• Non-collaborative behaviors – inability or refusal to work in group therapy; lying; not talking at all in group; withdrawing emotionally; arguing incessantly about everything with anyone; distracting from group focus; responding to all questions with, “I don’t know.”
• Noncompliant behaviors – not completing homework assignments; not keeping agreements made with the counselors or group members; refusing to comply with treatment recommendations.
• Behaviors that interfere with other group members – openly hostile, critical and judgmental remarks directed at other group members or counselors.
• Behaviors that decrease the counselor’s motivation – hostile attitude; impatience; statements that the counselor should do better or is not a good counselor.