Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute
New Address:
156 Bellevue Road, Highland, NY 12528

founded in 1989



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DBT in Action

Teaching DBT Skills with Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Role Play

Friday, June 14, 2013
9 :00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
in Berkeley, CA

Trainer: Rebecca Walters, MS LMHC LCAT TEP

~Space is limited...register early to avoid being closed out~

This workshop is NOT an introduction to DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a therapeutic approach developed by psychology researcher Marsha Linehan, PhD. It was initially developed to treat patients with borderline personality disorder and chronic suicidal ideation. However, extensive research has shown its effectiveness in the treatment of other disorders such as bulimia, depression, anxiety, addiction and more. In DBT treatment, clients meet with a therapist individually. In addition, they take part in DBT skills groups where together a group of participants learn skills such as distress tolerance, regulation of emotions, conflict resolution, and mindfulness.

Unfortunately, many therapists running skills groups lack training in experiential or action oriented therapies. They may provide clear instructions and didactic information regarding the skills to be learned and offer handouts, simple role plays, and homework sheets. This frequently leads to clients experiencing the work as dry, non-engaging and difficult to fully assimilate and use.

What's Different about DBT in Action?

When led by someone skilled in psychodrama, DBT skills take on a very different feel and appearance. Material is no longer dry but instead comes alive with actively engaged participants. By becoming active in the learning process, DBT skills are learned more quickly and retained longer. When learning and practicing these skills in action through psychodrama, sociodrama, and role playing, clients often find the groups more enjoyable and relate better to the information and
techniques being taught.

Psychodrama brings action based learning and body-mind awareness to learning processes and stresses identification of feelings. Feelings must be identified and experienced before adaptive behaviors or skills such as those of DBT can be learned, and those behaviors and skills must be practiced and experienced in action within the group before they are applied in day to day life. Psychodrama is a natural partner to DBT in its effectiveness as a method of experiential learning, and its techniques for promoting mindfulness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. Psychodrama is also used to enhance communication skills and relationships between individuals. One of the great strengths of psychodramatic method is its emphasis on expanding the "roles" that an individual feels comfort with in their life. This can promote an individual's tolerance for being required to step into new roles in their life, a transition that can be difficult for many people. DBT skills groups that use action methods such as psychodrama are creative and engaging, as well as being extremely practical. They enhance the teaching and learning of core DBT skills.

What You Will Learn in a DBT in Action Workshop:

During this training you will learn how to apply psychodramatic and sociodramatic techniques to teaching the core skills of...

a. Mindfulness
b. Distress Tolerance
c. Emotional Regulation
d. Interpersonal communication

Who Are DBT in Action Trainings For?

This workshop is NOT an introductory workshops to DBT. It assumes familiarity with DBT through formal training or, at a minimum, through working in a DBT program. It is also appropriate for those who lack DBT training but who have advanced training in psychodrama. DBT in Action trainings are not intended to replace training in either method. Our goal is to give group leaders new and tested methods for teaching DBT skills and to provide psychodramatists with some new possibilities for applying the skills they already know.

Are Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) Available for DBT in Action?

DBT in Action workshops offer CEUs toward national credentialing by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) and are accepted by NYS OASAS, and towards recertification requirements for the National Registry of Group Psychotherapists. They offer hours towards certification by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy as well as towards Drama Therapy. NEW! National Association of Social Workers (NASW) CEU's may be available for DBT in Action trainings. 6 CEUs for MFT, LCSW, Sylvia Israel Provider, approved Board of Behavioral Science (BBS 947) are available for an additional fee. Contact us for more information.

Registration and Fees

$135 if registration and fee are postmarked by May 14, $160 after.

Don't wait to register...we limit this training seminar to 22 people.

To Register: Please send a check made out to HVPI to:
New Address:

156 Bellevue Road
Highland,NY 12528

.Include a piece of paper with your name, phone number, email address and regular address and the name of the workshop.

It is now possible to pay with a major credit card. Do not send credit card numbers to us.
Contact HVPI for more information.

Refund policy: 4 weeks notice: 100% refund
2 weeks notice: 50% credit towards future HVPI trainings

About the Trainer

Rebecca Walters, MS, LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor), LCAT (Licensed Creative Arts Therapist), and TEP, is the co-director of the Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute since 1989. She was a psychodramatist at Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital, Katonah, NY for over twenty five years and recently retired as the Director of Child and Adolescent Psychodrama Services where she ran six DBT in Action skills groups a week with adolescents. She also supervised the psychodrama internship program at Four Winds.

Rebecca is a sought after international trainer and is known for her expertise in the use of action methods with children and adolescents. She has brought her well received training seminars on the use of action methods with children and teenagers to conferences and training institutes throughout the US and abroad. She has served on the faculty of Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer College and is currently consultant to MD Anderson Cancer Center's I*CARE, a program for Interpersonal Communication and Relationship Enhancement that is a program of the Department of Faculty Development dedicated to improving the communication among cancer patients, their families and their providers.

Rebecca is an elected member of the Executive Council of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, an organization in which she is a Fellow. She is the 2010 recipient of their Hannah Weiner Awarded which honors her years of service to the ASGPP. She is the current president of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the ASGPP.

Rebecca is certified as a Trainer, Educator and Practitioner by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy.

Testimonials by DBT in Action Participants

"Dear Rebecca, your workshop is one of the best workshops that I have ever attended. Not only did it provide me with practical and applicable techniques, but I walked away feeling a renewed excitement about treating children with DBT. I immediately began implementing some of the skills and more importantly, you helped to open up my therapeutic repertoire and I have continued to fuse together DBT theory with the techniques from your workshop. By helping my clients to physically interact with the material and involve their whole body and mind in the treatment I have noticed that they both enjoy the treatment more and more easily grasp and utilize the skills. Thank you for changing the way that I work!"

-Erica Lander, PsyD
Private Practice, NJ

"I have been using some of the experiential skills I learned at the DBT in Action workshop with clients who participate in both Trauma Recovery and Dual Recovery groups with me. Keeping in mind some of the concepts of DNT, but being able to use them experientially, has worked so well to both keep people involved, and to teach at a very deep level. As always, thank you, Rebecca"

-Pamela Faith Lerman, M.Ed., BC-DMT, LCAT
Creative Arts Therapist
Ellis Medicine Department of Psychiatry
Schenectady, NY

"DBT skills can be difficult for many people to grasp because they are so different from the general ways of functioning of most of us. I appreciated the opportunity to experience active and creative ways to teach and learn the skills because this will allow me to more clearly understand and remember them."

-Joan Chandler, PhD
Unity Health System
Rochester, NY

"I initially used the skills learned in the “DBT in Action” workshop to create a 3-session victim awareness protocol for a patient on our DBT unit who had received alternative sentencing as part of a court order following assault charges. All patients and staff on the unit participated as group members.

Feedback from both staff and patients was overwhelmingly positive. Staff expressed surprise that patients, normally unwilling to participate in group activities, were on their feet, moving around the room, expressing themselves, and laughing. The unit psychologist reported that, through the action methods, she was more clearly able to see the limits of patients’ cognition (and that this helped her understand why they were not doing or “getting” some of the DBT lessons). She was amazed that the patients were able to do and “get” the skill when presented in this way. Patients' feedback concentrated on the fun they were having. When I walk on the unit now, patients will call to me – “When are you coming back to do a group?” And, one Therapy Aide always greets me with, “There you are! Whenever I see you I know that something fun is about to happen.”

I have now created a 12-week protocol and expanded the use of the protocol to include patients from all units who are having trouble with interpersonal conflicts and aggressive and assaultive behaviors. The goal is to increase empathy and prosocial skills."

-Linda Richmond, PhD
Rockland Psychiatric Center
Orangeburg, NY

“I wholeheartedly believe that clinicians providing DBT skills groups need fresh ideas, ways to engage clients, and creative approaches to teaching solid psycho-educational material. This training did exactly that. Sometimes re-connecting to what is already "known" from different angles helps clinicians to think things through differently, solidifies learning, and makes them more attentive to the needs of their group members. I highly recommend this training to anyone who feels stilted, bored, or stuck on repetitive content and needs novel ways of shifting gears without neglecting the integrity of what DBT skills groups can offer.”

-Renee Hoekstra, Psy.D.
Stoneham, MA

"DBT is a highly effective modality for developing coping skills. However, this treatment approach is generally taught through the use of handouts and lectures in other words: Boring! Rebecca Walters has found another way, breathing new life into the teaching of these skills in her workshop “Psychodrama and DBT.” Various exercises for distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness are explored through the use of action methods,
techniques that may be helpful for both individual and group sessions. This is the first workshop to address DBT through action methods – don’t miss this opportunity!"

-Kathy Lutz, LCSW, LCADC, CP
New Jersey

"Thank you for the DBT in Action workshop. We have been using so much of what we learned that day.The structures you taught have been really great. We have also been using lots of the warm up/group starter exercises. I start every DBT group (and now lots of other groups) with some sort of exercise we learned from you and that’s been really helpful. All of us from our agency who went that day have found everything really useful in skills groups and in individual appointments in our DBT program."

-Krista Zanfardino, LMSW
PROSper Program Supervisor
Putnam Family & Community Services, Inc.
Carmel, NY