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PhD, ABPP – Certified Clinician

“My initial interest in DBT was sparked when I completed an internship rotation on inpatient borderline personality disorder unit for women in 1999.

The unit did not use DBT; however, I really enjoyed the women on the unit and as a result read Linehan’s groundbreaking text. Who knew I would have to read the book many, many times until I started to understand the concepts and applications?!

Nearly fifteen years after my initial interest was sparked, I learned about an opportunity for intensive training for independent practitioners offered by Behavioral Tech. I chatted with my husband about the chance to learn DBT and how this training had always felt a bit out of reach for me because of geography and circumstances.

I also highlighted that this seemed like a more productive way to address my mid-life crisis than many other options and although expensive, cost less than a luxury sports car. Several years later, the investment in the intensive training continues to pay dividends in terms of all that I learned, the connections and friends I made, and most importantly, in how it has benefitted my clients.

The ripple effect of DBT interventions in the lives of clients and in their relationships continues to amaze me. Due to the “high-stakes” nature of working with highly suicidal and often impulsive individuals, certification seemed like a “must” for me.

It was important to me to not only be able to show that I had completed rigorous training, but that I had demonstrated competence in the application of this complex intervention as well as a commitment to ongoing learning.

And, my remarkable team members also valued certification so there was accountability and cheerleading all along the way. Currently, I work in an outpatient behavioral health clinic and I have a colleague who has also sought intensive training, which has fueled my enthusiasm even more. We offer skills training groups for our community and teach graduate students about DBT.

I love the sense of community among DBT colleagues, and how this growing group shares expertise and encouragement so providers can effectively help our clients. Certification strikes me as a way for providers to apply DBT principles to their learning of DBT with the use of assessment, self-monitoring, problem-solving, and contingencies.

And, if we are going to ask our clients to do these things, why not do them ourselves?”

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