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NWA Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Balancing Chaos and Control

  • Life Styles Inc 2590 West Sycamore Street Fayetteville, AR, 72703 United States (map)

A daylong workshop to introduce clinicians to the core components of DBT, an overview of the facets of the practice, and some of the fundamental skills inherent within the treatment.

Proceeds benefit Compassion Works for All (CWFA), a prison outreach program that brings meditation, yoga, compassionate communication, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to people incarcerated in Arkansas. Sponsored by CWFA and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Social Work.

DBT is an evidence-based practice that was developed specifically for the treatment-resistant nature of Borderline Personality Disorder. It is a highly structured and disciplined approach that incorporates both change and acceptance work. This workshop will provide an overview of the 4 components of DBT: Group Skills training, Individual therapy, phone coaching, and therapist consultation.

We will discuss the chaos vs control dialectic and the biosocial model of Borderline Personality Disorder. Understanding this orientation helps clinicians have compassionate understanding of their clients while maintaining healthy boundaries. We will discuss the structure of individual sessions, use of phone coaching, and the importance of the consultation team. Practical skills from Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, Interpersonal Effectiveness and Mindfulness will also be provided.


1.Overview of Model


b.Biosocial model & BPD

2.Individual Therapy

a.Treatment Hierarchy

3.Group Therapy


4.Emotion Regulation

a.Opposite Action

5.Distress Tolerance

a.TIPP & Distract skills


a.Special Topics & Questions

6 CEUs will be offered for Arkansas social workers. CEUs for psychologists pending.

Disclaimer: DBT is a very structured and intensive therapy. It requires hundreds of hours of training and supervision before it can be implemented with fidelity. This workshop is only meant to provide an educational overview of the model. If clinicians would like to become DBT certified, a full intensive training from the Linehan institute should be undertaken as well as testing, supervision, and adherence to the 4 components of the model.

Stephanie Johnston is a social worker, psychotherapist, and owner of The Healing Arts Studio, LLC in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is a board member of Compassion Works for All and the Arkansas division of Postpartum Support International. She has been intensively trained in Linehan DBT and in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She teaches both courses at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock in the Master of Social Work program. In her private practice she specializes in treating Borderline Personality Disorder and offers the full DBT program in addition to providing support for postpartum and perinatal moms.

BYOC (bring your own caffeine), Lunch is 1.5 hours. Bring a sack lunch or enjoy a local restaurant.