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Mary Ihnenfeld, MSW, LCSW

Certified Clinician Family Counseling Service, Aurora , IL

“I completed the 10-day intensive DBT training in 1998. I worked for a community mental health agency that was a referral source for the state hospital. In 1997, the State of Illinois brought out the Linehan Training Group (now Behavioral Tech) to train a group of state hospital employees and community mental health professionals.

The agency I worked for was not offered a spot in 1997 and was offered one spot in 1998 and I was lucky enough be to chosen. The State of Illinois was moving towards “training the trainers”, and I ultimately became a DBT trainer for the State of Illinois. I have been doing DBT since 1998 and have attended many advanced trainings and continue to attend DBT trainings.

When the certification became available, people asked if I would apply. My first response was, “heck no”. I did not have the ego strength to have my videotaped sessions observed and reviewed by DBT specialists, I was not sure I was good enough.

After some soul searching, I decided my ultimate goal was to be the best DBT therapist I could be and therefore decided to apply.

I was scared and felt so validated when I finally received the email that I passed and was Board Certified.

For me, it was important to follow through and demonstrate that I have the knowledge, expertise, and credibility as a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified DBT Therapist.

It was important for me to obtain this certification because Dr. Linehan’s name is associated with the certification.”


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