DBT trainees, August 2014, Social Work Building, NYC

World Mental Health Day, which caps the larger Mental Health Awareness Week, seems a fitting moment to pay tribute to our School's pioneering role, led by Associate Professor André Ivanoff, in providing the social work community with opportunities to train in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Dr. Ivanoff runs the DBT Training and Lab housed within the School of Social Work, which, this past summer, collaborated with the Linehan Institute/Behavioral Tech, to offer a series of DBT training sessions—the first to be hosted by an academic institution.

The Linehan Institute and its training enterprise were founded by Marsha Linehan, the creatior of DBT.

Session One took place August 11–15, 2014, and Session Two will be held early next year: January 12–16, 2015. As DBT is a treatment that requires an ongoing consultation team, participants signed up in teams. In between the two onsite meetings, the treatment teams have committed to meet weekly to prepare case conceptualizations and program descriptions, complete homework, and eventually take the DBT examination.

Participants came from all over the country and a range of professional backgrounds, from hospitals to community-based social service agencies. Also taking part were 15 DBT fellows from the School of Social Work, who in August had just completed more than fifty hours of independent preparation in DBT.

"Clinical social work and DBT are an excellent fit," said Dr. Ivanoff as she reflected on the success of the first joint CSSW-LInehan Institute training event. "DBT is an effective treatment for individuals facing complex and severe disorders—the kinds of clients we social workers tend to see. It helps them build lives worth living."

In the video below, trainee Stephanie Starks offers an equally enthusastic response:

Leave a Reply