We are excited to support you and your program on the path to DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Program Certification!

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:

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

How do I set up my Program Manual?
Visit here for all information related to setting up your DBT Program Manual https://dbt-lbc.org/index.php?page=101154

Overview of the Program Certification Process

Step 1: Completion of the Online Application

To locate the online application, Log into My Account on the DBT-LBC website and go to the “Program Application” tab. The application consists of identifying information about the program, the team leader, members of the team, the elements of DBT included, and questions about the consultation team and processes with clients in the program.

Information required: identifying information of the program and Team Lead, list of team members, elements of DBT, data on client enrollment, information on client processes while enrolled in the program

Fee: $450

Time Frame: 2-4 weeks for approval

This application is reviewed by a program reviewer to determine initial qualifications. If there are any further questions, the program reviewer will reach out to schedule a meeting to further discuss any questions or concerns.

Next steps: If your application is approved, you will be moved into Desktop Review. If your program does not meet qualifications, your program reviewer will provide feedback and support you in being able to move into the next step.

Please note: Scholarships are Available for Program Certification to cover the cost of the Site Review fee. Please consider exploring if your program would qualify and submit your application to ensure enough processing time.

Step 2: Desktop Review

After initial approval, the Team Lead will receive an email to upload their program documentation to their DBT-LBC account.

Information required: Please utilize the section below entitled “Program Manual Guidelines” to guide the development of your Policies and Procedures Manual.

Fee: $1,500

Time Frame: 4-6 weeks

At this stage, you will be assigned two program reviewers. These reviewers are DBT-LBC Individually Certified Clinicians and come from DBT-LBC Certified Programs. DBT-LBC Program Reviewers have also undergone additional training within DBT-LBC. Your program reviewers will assess your DBT program’s functioning on paper: how your program functions and how it supports DBT principles in existing program policies and procedures. Your program reviewers will reach out to you with follow-up questions.

Next steps: If your program meets qualifications, you will be moved into the Site Visit stage. If your program requires work on additional elements, feedback will be provided and you will have 6 months to modify existing programs and then re-submit documentation for a second review.

Step 3: Virtual Site Review

Following Desktop Review approval, your program reviewers will reach out to you to schedule your Site Visit.

Information required: The Site Visit consists of the following elements:

  • Team Lead interview
  • Consultation Team observation
  • Skills Group observation (120 minutes in length)
  • Provider Interviews
  • Client and/or Family Interviews
  • Program debrief

More information will be provided on the specific number of observations and interviews based on your program size and number of DBT-LBC certified clinicians on staff. You will also receive additional documentation from DBT-LBC on how to prepare for your site visit, including additional questions that may come up from programs, providers, or clients.

Fee: $2000

Please note: Scholarships are Available for Program Certification to cover the cost of the Site Review Fee! Please email [email protected] for the short application! For more information visit https://dbt-lbc.org/index.php?page=101170

Duration: Scheduled within 4-6 weeks of Desktop Review Approval

Next steps: All documentation is compiled, along with program reviewer notes and submitted to the Program Certification Committee for Review. Based on all compiled information, the Committee will approve a program to become a DBT-LBC Certified Program or you receive feedback and have 6 months to modify existing programs and then reschedule additional observations or interviews.

Program Certification is granted for a 5-year period with yearly Maintenance of Certification required.

For additional questions please reach out to [email protected]

Copyright: DBT Program Fidelity Scale
Copyright: DBT-Linehan Board of Certification

Maintaining Certification

Application Self-Assessment