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What is DBT-LBC Program Certification?

With the active participation and endorsement of Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., founder and developer of DBT, the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification (DBT-LBC) supports DBT-LBC Program Certification.

Awarding of DBT-LBC Program Certification means that a DBT program has been independently evaluated by experts in the DBT field and observed to have the structure and practices consistent with the ability to provide comprehensive (or adapted) Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Why should I pursue DBT-LBC Program Certification?

Yes, program certification can be a great deal of work! However, it can also help confirm adherence to DBT practices or identify divergence from treatment standards.

Research (citation) shows that adherence to DBT increases positive treatment outcomes for clients and families.

What does it mean to be a DBT-LBC Certified Program? Why does it matter?

A DBT-LBC Certified Program has been independently evaluated by experts in the field. Programs undergo an extensive review to ensure they are upholding DBT principles as they were designed and supported by research. This means a DBT-LBC Certified Program has been independently evaluated and confirmed all the elements are present to provide adherent, comprehensive DBT. This matters most for clients, families, and consumers because it increases the chances they are getting adherent, research-supported DBT treatment.

We hope that this distinction is a factor for clients or families selecting a provider, for referrals guiding clients and families in selecting treatment, and for increasing therapist reimbursement rates from third-party payers.

What is the goal of DBT-LBC Program Certification?

The goal of Program Certification is to support and encourage a growth of DBT programs providing adherent treatment.

We know that finding adherent, evidence-based treatment is challenging, especially for clients and families in need.

We hope that by providing a framework, there will be more DBT programs to address a huge need in our communities.

What does DBT-LBC Program Certification include?

Each program has undergone an extensive review that consists of:

  • Consultation team observation
  • Provider interviews
  • Documentation and file review
  • Evaluation of the program’s policies and procedures
  • Evaluation of the program against the Program Fidelity Scale
  • Client and family interviews
  • Skills group observations

Please note: This award does not guarantee the quality that every client will receive in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program, or that every treatment session is done with a high level of fidelity. DBT-LBC Certified Programs have demonstrated that they have the capacity and intent to provide Dialectical Behavior Therapy adherently.

This means that the programs all have the core elements that should be present in every DBT program.

How do I know my DBT team is qualified?

To qualify for DBT-LBC Program Certification, we ask that you have a DBT-LBC Certified Clinician as Team Lead and complete the Program Fidelity Scale.

The Program Fidelity Scale (linked here) is a document to assess the functioning and readiness of your program against the standards DBT-LBC will be using to rate your program. We highly recommend each program do a self-assessment prior to beginning the formal application to decrease delays!