DBT Skills Group
The DBT skills group is a 4-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. The sessions are facilitated by Denise Lin, LCSW, and Erica Liao, LMFT.
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.
When: This group will run in Winter 2023 if there are enough interested participants
Where: In-person at Student Wellness Services North. This is the house on the corner of California Blvd. and Arden Rd. at 1245 Arden Rd. Masks will be required.
Who: Open to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students
Who should not attend?
- People who cannot commit to attending all 4 sessions
- If you are 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 are 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.
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?
- Mindfulness - the skill of present-time awareness; 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.
- Distress tolerance - this is an acceptance-based skill to help you learn how to survive intense emotions more effectively.
- Emotion regulation - this is a change-based skill to help you change your current emotional state more quickly and fluidly.
- 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.