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Courtney Westin LMFT, first began practicing DBT in 2013, when she moved to California with her husband. Before that, Courtney ran her own practice for four years in Bethesda, Maryland, with a focus on clients with eating disorders. She began practicing DBT for four years working with the DBT Center of Orange County. In 2017, Courtney founded SoCo DBT in Newport Beach, California, named after her focus on providing DBT to the South County OC community.

When she first began practicing in 2007 at a local inpatient program in Maryland, there was little information about DBT provided by her colleagues and supervisors. “I knew there was a skills workbook and thought that was what DBT was, a coping skills program.”

But beginning in 2013, Courtney was formally introduced to DBT as we know it, finding it much more complicated and interesting. In particular, she was drawn to DBT by its results.

As a clinician, she sometimes questioned whether the efforts “in the room” were having the desired effect to help people. As she began implementing DBT with her clients, she was excited to see the changes they were making and progress they made learning DBT.

Clients who had been suffering for years began to stabilize and abstain from behaviors that had been plaguing them. The majority of those who stayed in the DBT program were not just surviving their struggles, but improving their lives.

Courtney obtained her DBT certification in April 2019. The push towards certification began in 2015, when Courtney completed intensive training at Willow Springs facilitated by Dr. Alan Fruzzetti. The process of becoming certified took three more years, and the work product portion of certification process was daunting at times. But her colleagues and clients continued to encourage her, and the most encouragement came from the client whose sessions she ultimately submitted for certification.

“The client encouraged me to keep going, told me how far I had come and not to give up.” Ultimately, says Courtney, “Marsha Linehan’s program and teachings were so important to me and my practice, so I knew that I wanted to be able to tell my clients that I was a certified DBT clinician.”

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