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DBT Skills Group - Fall 2021

DBT Skills Group, Fall 2021:

The Fall 2021 DBT skills group is a 6-week in-person group that will teach you 4 important skills: Emotion regulation (dealing with intense emotions); coping with emotional crises or feeling overwhelmed; managing your relationships effectively; and staying focused on the present with mindful awareness.

What is DBT?

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. That's a mouthful - so what does that mean? A dialectic is the complex interaction between two different ideas - in this case, between the need to change our lives, and the need to accept some things in our lives as they are. Navigating these two needs can be difficult, and DBT is designed to teach concrete skills to help you do it. Nobody likes accepting unpleasant realities, but it's a necessary first step if we're going to effectively deal with them.

What are the main DBT skills?

  1. Distress tolerance - this is an acceptance-based skill to help you learn how to survive intense emotions more effectively.
  2. Emotion regulation - this is a change-based skill to help you change your current emotional state more quickly and fluidly.
  3. Interpersonal effectiveness - this is a change-based skill to help you ask for what you want without being aggressive; to be more confident in asking for what you need; and learning how to say no with grace and confidence. These skills are outstanding ways of enhancing our relationships with others and increasing our self-respect.
  4. Finally, the skill of present-time awareness, or mindfulness, underlies all of the other skills; it's an acceptance-based skill rooted in pulling away from the hundreds of stories that our minds tell us, and focusing instead on the way that things really are right now.

Who should attend?

  • Participants must be a currently enrolled Caltech graduate or undergraduate student.

Who should not attend?

  • People who are cannot commit to attending all 6 sessions
  • If you're dealing with current active suicidal thoughts, you'll need to have an individual therapist in addition to attending the DBT class.

Are you currently in individual therapy?

If you are seeing a counselor at Caltech's Counseling Services, this class should probably take the place of your individual therapy this term. In cases where you and your therapist agree that it would make sense to do both concurrently, you will need to give consent for the class facilitator to communicate with your individual therapist for the duration of the class. If you're seeing a community therapist, you'll need to let them know that you plan to attend the group, and we'll ask for your consent to coordinate care with them.

Practical matters

  • The class runs for 6 weeks; we'll meet for one hour weekly from 4:00 - 5:00 on Wednesdays, beginning October 20th. We will most likely be meeting at 1245 Arden Road - this is a house on the corner of California Boulevard and Arden Road, right next door to the Health and Counseling office. It's right behind the tennis courts.
  • We won't meet during the week of Thanksgiving.
  • There is no cost to attend, and no insurance is involved.
  • All participants and the facilitator must wear masks.

I'm interested. How do I join?

A brief screening appointment (in person, by phone, or by Zoom) is required before being approved to attend. Please call the counseling center at (626) 395-8331 to set one up.

About the Facilitator

The sessions are facilitated by Jane Tsang, LPCC.

Mon - Fri
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
1239 Arden Rd.
Mail Code 1-8
Pasadena, California 91125
Health (626) 395-6393 | Counseling (626) 395-8331
(626) 585-1522