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What is Certification?

The DBT-Linehan Board of Certification™ (DBT-LBC™) is an independent, 501c3 non-profit organization. DBT-LBC™ is a certification organization and we do not provide the training that is required for our certification. We are separate from all organizations that provide DBT training.

Professional certification is a voluntary process by which you are evaluated against predetermined standards for knowledge, skills, and competencies. Participants who demonstrate that they meet the standards by successfully completing the assessment process are granted this credential. To retain the credential, certificants must maintain continued competence. The credential awarded by the certification program provider denotes that the participant has demonstrated particular knowledge, skills, and competencies.


Certification differs from a certificate in that a certificate is attesting to accomplishing the completion of some educational or training effort with no assessment of what was retained or available to put into practice.  Certification is a much more involved assessment to demonstrate the application of knowledge to the performance and delivery of the treatment.  It requires more than an attestation statement.  It is a valuable reassurance to you and to the public that you have been evaluated and met the standards needed to deliver the treatment.


Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards, and when in compliance with these standards, is awarded recognition by a third party.

Why Get Certified?

DBT-LBC™ Certification has important advantages for individual therapists, DBT Programs, and for the collective efforts of DBT treatment development and recovery.

For individual clinicians, DBT-LBC™ Certification recognizes the hard work, investment, and dedication to a complex and challenging treatment. DBT-LBC™ Certification provides confidence to clients and families researching treatment options that you are a professional who meets high national standards. DBT-LBC Certification sets you apart as a provider of choice for DBT.

DBT-LBC™ Certification is also key to ongoing lobbying efforts with private and public insurers. Reimbursement should be commensurate with the expertise demanded in delivering adherent DBT.

Finally, DBT-LBC™ Certification also paves a path toward upholding the integrity of the treatment as it was developed by Dr. Linehan and colleagues. Developing a standard for DBT can help direct clients to find services from competent, qualifies professionals in their time of highest need.

How to Get Certified

Getting certified requires several steps.  You can review all of the Eligibility Requirements here. Once you know you meet those requirements, you can begin the application process under the Certification Tab. Your completed application will be reviewed, and once accepted you will be able to register to sit for the exam.

What is the Value of DBT-Linehan Board of Certification™?

How are the standards for Certification set?

All criteria for the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification™, Certification Process has been informed by the following: Consulting with Dr. Marsha Linehan, the treatment developer, and colleagues; Research-based work on adherence coding; and use of the Treatment manuals (Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (1993) and Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder 1993). All criteria are backed by the research that has been conducted by Dr. Linehan and Colleagues. As new research emerges, the standards will be reviewed.

Now that you are Certified

Once you achieve certification, you then can use the designation, DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified DBT Clinician™. You will be sent an email that also includes an emblem for use in any correspondence, should you wish to do so.  Please note that the emblem must be placed next to your name and credentials.  It may not be used to indicate any endorsement by DBT-LBC™ for any other purposes than to indicate that you are certified as a DBT clinician.  The designation and emblem will be provided on a mailed certificate suitable for framing also.