Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Group in Madison, WI
WHAT IS DBT?
DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. In short, DBT is a kind of therapy that teaches cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skills. DBT skills groups focus on teaching people essential life skills that help them manage their own emotions, interact skillfully with others, and manage feelings of distress.
WHO IS DBT FOR?
DBT is best suited for individuals who have traits of borderline personality disorder (BPD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disordered eating, high levels of anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder, or are working on skills to aid in recovery from a substance use disorder. This group is for adults only (age 18 and older).
WHERE IS THE GROUP?
The DBT group is located at the Westside downtown location, 16. N. Carroll St. You will receive additional information as to where the group meets after your initial screening and orientation session.
WHEN DOES THE GROUP MEET?
The group meets every Tuesday from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. There will be occasional days where the group may not meet, so please be sure to stay in touch with the group leader for any scheduling questions.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN BE IN THE GROUP?
We aim for group membership to be between 5 and 11 individuals. The group has rolling admissions, so an individual may join at any class, as long as the group is not at its maximum size. If the group is currently at maximum capacity, group members will be able to join once a spot becomes available. This will be communicated to you by the group leader.
HOW LONG IS THE GROUP?
Completing the full DBT group curriculum will take 18 weeks. Please note that this is normally a much longer process, and a traditional DBT group requires approximately 9 months time to complete. We have compressed this group with the intention of including the most impactful and helpful skills, and to make learning DBT skills more accessible. Individuals are welcome to go through the curriculum multiple times if they wish to cement their skill acquisition.
HOW DO I JOIN?
To join the group, each group member is required to meet with the group leader, Ali Manley, for a screening and orientation to the group. Group membership is not guaranteed, and sometimes individuals may not be invited to join the group. While this is rare, know it is a possibility. Reasons one is not admitted to the group may include include but are not limited to:
- Another person says you “should” do DBT but you have no motivation of your own to participate.
- You are unable to consistently attend or get transportation to the group at this time.
- It appears that you will not be a good fit with the group at this time.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE INITIAL SESSION?
At the initial screening and orientation session, you and the group leader will meet to determine if you are a good fit for the group, and if the group is a good fit for you. This will include:
- a brief intake and review of your history;
- orienting you to what to expect in a DBT group;
- creating a DBT-specific treatment plan; and
- determining if it will be helpful for you to have a safety plan* in place. There are some group members that will only be allowed group participation if they are continuing to work with an individual therapist and follow their safety plan*.
* Safety Plan
If you are currently experiencing suicidal ideation, are actively dealing with self-harm behaviors, or have attempted suicide within the last 10 years, part of this initial orientation will be making sure you have a safety plan in place. If this is an issue for you, it is important that you are also working with a separate individual therapist who can assist you in coordinating hospital care, attending to safety, and providing additional support. Acting purely as the group leader, I will not be available for those tasks. We will sign a Release of Information so that the group leader and your individual therapist will be able to communicate regarding safety issues.
CAN THE GROUP LEADER ALSO HELP ME OUTSIDE OF THE GROUP?
The group leader is NOT available to fulfill the responsibilities that your individual therapist might, such as attending to case management concerns, processing issues outside of group, or assisting in arranging hospital stays. If you have questions related to a particular skill you are learning, we may arrange for a brief support phone call outside of the group.
WHAT ARE FEES FOR THE GROUP?
Costs that come with participating in the DBT group include a $35 fee for materials, payment for the initial intake/screening session, and payment for attendance at group sessions. If you have insurance, you may use that toward the initial intake and screening session fee. Generally, reimbursement rates for group sessions through insurance are not sufficient to sustain the costs that go into running a DBT group. For that reason, we have set a rate of $50 per 2-hour group session.
WHERE DO I PARK?
Because the group runs longer than most meters, and because finding a parking space downtown can sometimes be a challenge, I recommend parking at the ramp located at 214 N. Carroll St. Rates are $1.20/hour.
WHO DO I CONTACT?
If you have additional questions about the DBT Skills group or wish to schedule an initial screening and orientation session, please contact Ali Manley directly. It is often easiest to do so by email. If you have a question or concern that you do not wish to communicate over email, you may call Ali at 608-620-1234.