Advanced Topics in DBT


Conducting Effective DBT Sessions from Start to Finish

Presented by: Alex Chapman, Ph.D. & John Wagner, Ph.D.

Date: Friday, November 6th, 2015
Time: 9 AM – 4:30 PM
Location: Italian Cultural Centre; Trattoria Hall
3075 Slocan St Vancouver BC

About the workshop

The aim of this workshop is to address some key advanced topics in DBT. Many mental health clinicians have had some exposure to various Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) strategies through readings and overview workshops; however, even after significant DBT training, it is sometimes unclear as to how to skillfully provide individual DBT therapy sessions from start to finish. Effectively navigating individual therapy sessions requires a solid understanding of core DBT strategies, such as chain analysis, dialectical, and stylistic strategies (e.g., being irreverent at times, and warm/reciprocal at other times). For this workshop, we will discuss, demonstrate (through role play and video/audio clips), and guide participants in exercises focused on how to effectively conduct DBT individual therapy sessions from start to finish. We will emphasize both the nuts and bolts of DBT sessions and the use of strategies to manage common roadblocks and challenges such as non-responsive or dysregulated behaviours. Participants can expect to leave with a clearer understanding of how to:

  • Effectively start DBT sessions, set an agenda, and deal with challenges at the beginning of the session.
  • Use a chain analysis to better understand and address relevant target behaviours (e.g., self-injury, homework non-compliance).
  • Deal with challenges arising during the session, such as non-collaborative behaviour, non-responsiveness, or dysregulated emotions.
  • Effectively balance acceptance and change in terms of specific DBT strategies and therapeutic styles.

Recommended Reading

Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is designed for mental health providers (e.g. counselors, psychologists, etc.) who have already had, at least, an introductory level of exposure to DBT through previous readings or trainings. We will not be spending much time providing an overview of DBT theory or structure, so ideally, participants will come to the workshop with a basic knowledge of many of the key components of DBT (biosocial theory, chain analysis and solution analysis, etc.).

About the Speakers

Dr. Alex ChapmanDr. Alex Chapman, R. Psych., is the President of the DBT Centre of Vancouver and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University (SFU).





Dr. John WagnerDr. John Wagner, R. Psych., is the Director of the DBT Centre of Vancouver and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia.




Among the leading experts in DBT in Canada, both Drs. Chapman and Wagner regularly train and consult with mental health providers across the country.

More information about both presenters can be found at:

CE Credits

The DBT Centre of Vancouver is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association as a provider of continuing education activities. Attendees will receive a certificate confirming attendance for 6 CE credits.


The workshop includes coffee, tea, lunch, and snacks during breaks. Lunch consists of sliced fresh fruit and vegetables, beverages, and a variety of sandwiches, including vegetarian options. Please let us know if you require a gluten-free meal or have other dietary restrictions.

Cancellation Policy

The DBT Centre of Vancouver will provide refunds for registration fees up to 10 days prior to a scheduled workshop. Refunds will not be provided for cancellations occurring with less than 14 days notice. All refunds are subject to a $20 administrative fee.












Thank you for your interest in the Advanced Topics in DBT workshop. Registration is now closed.

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