Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Programme

The Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Programme is a group therapy which works to help you manage difficult emotions and improve your wellbeing.

DBT is a psychological therapy for people who experience intense emotions that can lead to impulsive behaviours or actions. Acting impulsively means doing something quickly without thinking or control. Impulsive actions, such as self-harm, can happen when you feel you are not able to handle strong and difficult emotions. While impulsive actions can provide you with some short-term relief, they can cause life to become painful and challenging.

DBT is a mental health programme that aims to give you the skills to build a mentally healthy life that you enjoy and feel is worth living. DBT will also help you to manage urges linked with impulsive actions, and to develop skills to help you work through or manage intense emotions.

How does the DBT Programme work?

How does the DBT Programme work?

The DBT Programme here at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) is a Stage One DBT Programme, which means that it focuses on helping to manage emotions and reduce self-harming behaviour.

When you are referred to the programme, you will be registered for one of two groups. 

  1. DBT Comprehensive Group involves both group and individual sessions. The group sessions focus on teaching you DBT skills to help manage intense emotions. There are also eight one-to-one individual sessions where you get focused support to show you how to put these skills into practice in your daily life; these happen alongside the group programme over the three months. This group is for people who find it difficult to manage their emotions and behaviors, and have a recent history of self-harming or suicidal behaviour.
  2. DBT Skills Group is a group solely for DBT skills training. This group is for people who find it difficult to manage their emotions and behaviors but do not have any history of self-harming or suicidal behaviour.

 Both groups run twice a week, giving a total of 24 sessions over three months.  

What skills will I learn?

What skills will I learn?

People who take part in the programme have said they can face challenges such as: 

  • being unable to control thoughts and attention
  • difficulty in controlling emotion
  • difficulty in managing distress
  • difficulty in communicating clearly.

 The DBT Programme will teach you a range of skills to work through these kinds of challenges. 

  • Mindfulness skills support you to develop more control of your attention so that you can choose where your mind goes. This is particularly helpful if you struggle with managing distressing thoughts and feelings.
  • Emotion regulation skills focus on how you experience and express emotions. The skills are related to understanding emotions and lowering the amount of unwanted emotions you have. These skills also help you to reduce emotional pain and change the strength of an emotion.
  • Distress tolerance skills help you to manage and get through the experience of unpleasant emotions or thoughts. These include crisis survival skills, which help you to get through a crisis in the short-term, and reality-acceptance skills, which help to accept painful aspects of life that we wish were different.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness skills relate to building and strengthening relationships, learning to ask for what you want clearly and firmly, and saying ‘no’ while maintaining self-respect and good-quality relationships.

Who is the DBT Programme for?

Who is the DBT Programme for?

If you feel that your emotions are very intense or ‘out of control’ and/or you feel the urge to act in a way that could be harmful to you in order to manage these emotions, then the DBT Programme may help you.

Please note that, to attend the programme, you must be an outpatient of SPMHS.

How are referrals made?

How are referrals made?

Referrals are accepted for service users under the care of a consultant-led team in St Patrick’s University Hospital. You may be referred to the programme as either an inpatient or an outpatient, but you must be an outpatient while attending the DBT Programme. If you are interested in attending the DBT Programme, you can contact your team directly. Your team psychologist can assess whether the group will be a good fit for your needs.

Who can I contact for more information?

Who can I contact for more information?

For more information on DBT, you can contact the Assistant Psychologist for the programme on 01 249 3411 or contact your team psychologist.

Find support when you need it

Find support when you need it

Support and Information

Take your first step by making a call: speak to a mental health professional today.

01 249 3333 info@stpatsmail.com

Referral and Assessment Service

Contact us for queries regarding referrals to our service.

01 249 3635 Referrals & Admissions