To assist DBT Programs considering applying for Program Certification, we are offering some suggestions as to what would be included in a Program Manual.  Many DBT programs have existing policies and procedures for how their clinics are run, but seldom are found in one document in an organized fashion.  We are asking all applicant programs to gather their materials under the heading of a Program Manual so that Certification Reviewers can more easily see how your particular program is set up.  The Desktop Review portion of Program Certification helps our Reviewers see your entire program on paper before we set up a site visit.  We hope to save unnecessary expenses before scheduling site visits.

A.    Program Policy and Procedures in a DBT Program Manual (suggestions, not requirements). Please use your own existing Program Manual if you want.  

1.    Specifies the structure, length of treatment and conditions for termination in the DBT Program.

2.    Hiring practices for DBT Therapists, students and interns                        

     i.     attendance requirements, duties                       

     ii.     Primary Source Verification of

               1.    Identification – government issued

               2.    Highest degree

               3.    Professional state license to practice.                         

      iii.     NOTE: If the clinician has an active Certification from DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, only the identification needs to be matched to their DBT-LBC profile.

3.    Informed consent for treatment; informed consent from relevant clients for Certification review of their files.

4.    Policy for ancillary providers

5.    Policy for involving caregivers/others

6.    Policy for primary therapist’s role in decision-making for clients.

7.    Policy for vulnerable or dependent clients. Mention of how included in treatment and what commitments are required of them during the process of treatment. Specifies contact between sessions with the therapist. Obtains contact information and plan for regularly updating it.

8.    Egregious behavior protocol for things like suicide attempts, self-harm, assault, drop out, escape from facility

9.    Policy for how treatment continuation is determined. How progress is measured/evaluated.

10.  Policy for 4-miss rule and 24-hour rule

11.  Policy for client discontinuation from treatment. Policy for re-entering treatment after being discharged for any reason.

12.  Policy for client emergency and/or between-session contact with therapists.                      

     i.     Skills coaching policy. If you share a pager, specify how clients can actually reach their own therapist between sessions and/or after hours.                       

     ii.     Crisis Intervention Plan – coverage by whom, how followed up on, hours of availability, contact information supplied. Include a copy of the Crisis/suicide Risk Assessment and Management Protocol (LRAMP) in addition to any possible “organization approved” risk assessment protocols that may be in use.

13.  For milieu treatments – plans for coaching during clinic hours/after hours.

14.  If DBT has been adapted in any way, please describe the need for the adaptation, the barriers to standard implementation, how you would describe the adaptation made, how you are preserving the principles of DBT. Please also describe any non-DBT program elements and the ways in which they are delivered so as not to conflict with the principles of DBT or confuse DBT practices or content.


How will I know if my DBT Program might be ready for applying?


The DBT-Linehan Board of Certification has created a self-assessment tool for evaluating your DBT Program's readiness to apply.  See the link for the Self Assessment Tool to check out your program's status.


When will DBT Program Certification be offered?


The DBT-LBC Board's Program Committee has conducted a pilot study with 4 DBT clinics across the country to prepare for launching the nation-wide availability of DBT Program Certification.

And now that DBT programs have members of their Teams certified, those with a Team Leader who is certified are eligible to apply as of April 1st. The best place to start preparations is by going to the Self-Assessment link under Program Certification and check out where your Program stands.  Team Leaders should sign into their My Account page where they will see a Program Application tab available now.  Begin the application there.

We will keep you updated as progress is made.