What to Expect from DBT Clinical Consultation Groups
By Alex Regalado
If you’ve ever delved into the world of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), you might come across the use of clinical consultation groups. In this post, we’ll explore what a DBT clinical consultation group is, what happens in these groups, and why they play a critical role in the world of skill development and professional growth.
Breaking Down the Acronyms - What is DBT?
Before we dive into DBT group consultation, let’s review DBT. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, created by Dr. Marsha Linehan, is a therapeutic approach originally designed to help individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder. Over time, this practice became useful in helping individuals experiencing issues with addiction, trauma, and mood disorders.
DBT is like a Swiss Army knife of skills – it equips individuals with tools for Mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance. Rooted in behavioral therapy, DBT is a highly structured and complex model of skills and processes.
This is not limited to the clients that therapists work with. In fact, woven into the fabric of the model, DBT clinical consultation is highly recommended. DBT Group Consultation is a professional space used to enhance clinical skills, debrief challenging experiences and interactions, and seek guidance.
The All-Inclusive Support System
Usually attended by therapists, counselors, and other mental health professionals, DBT clinical consultation groups gather to discuss their experiences in applying DBT to your practice. Working as a support system, DBT group consultation welcomes those with a variety of backgrounds and educational experiences.
These groups are intentionally diverse. DBT recognizes that different perspectives, backgrounds, and levels of experience allow for more dynamic clinical conversations. From seasoned DBT clinicians to those just dipping their toes into the approach, everyone has a seat. Its effort pools knowledge collectively inviting attendees to share challenging interactions or client behaviors.
The Safe Haven of Professional Growth
Expectations of DBT are not limited to the clients we work with. In fact, DBT challenges clinicians to use the concepts and skills within their practice and group consultation. Within a clinical consultation group, DBT promotes a nonjudgmental space where professionals can appropriately explore personal vulnerabilities, share their clinical doubts, and celebrate victories.
That’s the beauty of DBT clinical consultation. Therapists are prompted to freely discuss their client struggles, seek advice, and receive constructive feedback. It’s like a think tank for mental health professionals to collectively grow.
DBT Troubleshooting 101
DBT, like any therapeutic approach, isn’t always a smooth ride. Sometimes therapists encounter roadblocks – a particular skill isn’t landing as expected, or a client’s response is different from what they anticipated. Enter the troubleshooting phase.
Clinical consultation groups strike a balance between collective feedback and direction. Through shared experiences and problem-solving, the consulting supervisor will share expertise and perspective to promote the lens of DBT.
The Dance of Validation
Validation is a term often used in DBT, and it’s not just for clients. In peer consultation groups, therapists validate each other’s experiences, struggles, and successes. It’s a mutual acknowledgment that, yes, this job can be tough, and it’s okay to admit it.
Imagine a supportive nod or a shared moment of understanding when you describe a challenging case. It’s like being a part of a small community that speaks the same therapeutic language, creating a sense of camaraderie.
Continuous Learning and Skill Enhancement
Therapists are lifelong learners. DBT consultation groups offer a unique avenue for continuous growth in sharpening dialectical skills. By bringing real-world cases to the table, therapists not only receive feedback but also gain insights into different applications of DBT.
Consultation groups will often engage in discussion regarding accountability to ensure best practices. The group consultation leader will guide the discussion to ensure the conversation stays on track and ensure support is given. It’s a dynamic, ever-evolving process where the goal is not just personal growth but also improvement of therapeutic skills.
Next Steps to Join a DBT Consultation Group
In essence, a DBT clinical consultation group is like a lively coffee shop for mental health professionals. It’s a place to seek advice and expertise, gain valuable insight, and collaboratively enhance skills. Whether you’re a seasoned therapist or a fresh face in the world of DBT, these groups provide a supportive community.
If you are considering joining a clinical consultation group or have any questions, Firelight Supervision offers just this. We would be more than happy to discuss our experienced supervisor’s backgrounds and the wide variety of clinical case consultation groups targeting your training specialties and interests.
How we can help
If you are looking for a supportive community as a provisionally licensed therapist check out our Firelight Supervision Community where we offer individual, group, and triadic supervision.
If you are already a licensed professional and looking for ongoing clinical consultation or support in your professional development check out our Clinical Consultation Community.
Alex Regalado is a psychotherapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and other skills! He has experience working in community mental health, hospital settings, crisis centers, and private practice. Follow Firelight Supervision on Instagram and Facebook.