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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines modifications to and implementation of the skills training mode of dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). Skills training in DBT is often modified, and the implementation of these adaptations is often inconsistent with the evidence-base for DBT. This chapter provides guidance for adapting skills training for implementation in community-based settings. It reviews theoretical underpinnings of DBT skills training, the content and general structure of skills training, and empirical support for adaptations of skills training. It discusses how the broad principles that guide DBT—Zen, behaviour therapy, and dialectical philosophy—are applied in skills training group. It then discusses practical considerations, including recommendations for starting a new group and making research-informed decisions when modifying skills training in community-based settings. Finally, it includes case examples and a decision tree that contains specific recommendations for which DBT skills training adaptation to consider with particular clinical presentations.

Keywords: Dialectical behaviour therapy, DBT, skills training, skills training programmes, evidence-based treatment, Zen principles, dialectical philosophy, behaviour change principles

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