CourseDBT 2- DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced through Music Therapy

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 Presenter: Deborah Spiegel  MT-BC


Course Description: This workshop will review DBT skills for distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and core mindfulness through lecture and experiential music related activities. Discover how music therapy and other allied disciplines can be used to  teach, anchor, and reinforce DBT skills.  Sharing of therapeutic (music therapy) interventions.


Learning Objectives

  • Enhance your tools for treatment implementation
  • Design music therapy interventions to reinforce DBT skills.
  • Identify which skills are being reinforced and how.
  • Integrate music therapy with DBT skills in your professional setting.

Prerequisite: Review the skills in Marsha Linehan's book:  Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder.   or  the new book  DBT Skills Training Manual.  DBT is used with a multitude of  populations, not just borderlines. Either of these texts are a must read because it offers an underlying basis for therapists to be familiar with the DBT Skills.

For more information about DBT and Music Therapy visit


What people are saying:


"I especially liked that we not only created new interventions, but looked at what we were already doing through the eyes of this new information, reformatting interventions I currently use into a DBT framework. That was a brilliant piece I thought, that was unique to this course. This really got my creative process working. "


"Before I took this class, the social worker and other treatment team members didn't seem to value me as a professional.  After taking this class I have the language to speak so that I am heard by those professionals and am now part of the DBT treatment team.  I am  the co-therapist (with social worker!) in a DBT skills group where I am teaching skills through music therapy."


CBMT Domain areas:  II-A3a,b,5, IV- A3,4


See the schedule to the right Schedule
 Introductions  Overview
We will experience how music therapy can be used to teach, anchor, and reinforce skills  as we review  DBT Skills from the 4 modules of Dialectical Behavior Therapy ( DBT created   by Marsha Linehan.   After reviewing the above material, we’ll break into  small groups and design music therapy interventions around assigned skills.

Background and Assumptions

 Core Mindfulness-
 being aware of the here and now moment, how we feel, what our thoughts and urges  are, etc. can help a person be in a wise state of mind and not give in to impulsive actions.  Participants will experience how music therapy can be used to teach mindfulness through  lecture, songs, playing instruments, and imagery.

 Distress Tolerance-
We all have stress and without skills we tend to react instead of act. Distress tolerance skills will be presented through music making, songs, and lecture.

 Emotion Regulation-
 through awareness and practice we can gain control over our reactions to prompting  events.   Emotion regulation skills include building mastery and increasing positive emotions by doing pleasant things   Music therapy interventions for emotion regulation will be shared through lecture,demonstration, music making, and song writing.

 Interpersonal Effectiveness
DEAR MAN is a skill for learning to ask for what we want in an effective way - a way that we are more likely to get what we are asking for, keep the relationship with the person we are   asking, and keep our self respect.  Role-plays, music, and song.

Self-Study Homework Assignment:  -Design music therapy interventions around assigned skills.

 Presentation of activities/interventions with discussion about what DBT skills they reinforce

 Share silver bullets

 Reflections on how participants can integrate music therapy and DBT in their own situations

 Q&A, Wrap up

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DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced Through Music Therapy is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 10 CMTEs-Continuing Music Therapy Education credits.Deborah Spiegel is also an approved provider #PCE5609 with the BBS.Deborah Spiegel MT-BC, CBMT Approved Provider #P-106,  maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.
Deborah Spiegel is also an approved provider #PCE5609 with the BBS.