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I have led a Peer DBT skills group on Facebook for several months now which is proving to be more rewarding than I could have ever expected, and after recently inquiring and finding that there is enough interest in participating in a more formal, experimental peer-led online DBT skills training group , I have decided that I am going to take the group to the next level and make it a proper DBT skills training group. Together we shall embark on something new in the world of mental health treatment … peer-delivered, no-cost, online, mental health services that will serve a need that far outweighs current access to DBT specialized care.

The program structure I am working on will adapt traditional DBT skills training only as much to use web technology, honor copyright protection laws, and orient the group structure toward peer leadership. What is more, to protect peer leaders and members from potential legal consequences, protect confidentiality and/or give permission for group data use in research, there will be a consent agreement specially created for group members

Rachel Gill (aka Pinki Tuscaderro)

Group Creator/Peer Advocate/Researcher

Peer-led online dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills training group: Program components

Peer-delivered DBT Skills Training Online Goals:

  • To develop a peer-oriented DBT skills group online delivery format
  • To provide access to no-cost, easily accessible DBT skills training services
  • To teach the four DBT skill sets training modules covering:
  1. core mindfulness skills
  2. interpersonal effectiveness skills
  3. emotion regulation skills
  4. distress tolerance skills
  • To refine skills in changing behavioral, emotional and thinking patterns associated with problems in living causing misery and distress
  • To create an environment that nurtures building a supportive community of empowered peers
  • To conduct scientific research and increase DBT’s evidence base

Components of Evidence Based Dialectical Behavior Therapy

  1. Weekly individual one hour sessions with licensed therapist (on average for 6-12 months)
  2. Weekly 2-hour skills training with licensed therapists (on average for 6-12 months)
  3. Groups and individual therapy sessions are in-person
  4. Therapists provide phone coaching for applying skills
  5. Therapists engage in regular case consultation

Components of Peer-led Online DBT Skills Training Group Research Project

  1. Individual therapy not provided, but seeking or maintaining individual therapy with a licensed therapist (whether trained in DBT or not) is highly recommended.
  2. Each session consists of a video to watch, a handout, a worksheet, and a worksheet discussion thread where each member will make a minimum of 1 post that refers to experience with completing worksheet and 1 post that replies to another member’s experience with homework post. Therefore, session is not necessarily linear and may be started/stopped according to group member’s preference.
  3. Group is online and group leaders and co-leaders are peers who have demonstrated mastery of DBT skills and leadership among peers. If it happens that a leader is a professionally licensed therapist, such leaders are not acting in their professional capacity, but simply as peers, that is, a person who is committed to learning, practicing, and teaching DBT skills for the benefit of all, not for profit. Therefore, such leaders (or members) hold no group authority over any other member and are not liable for their participation in DBT group as they are volunteers and not acting as therapists but peers. .
  4. Coaching will be provided to members either by posting a thread to the group or by private messaging or chat with group leaders (group administrators).
  5. Group leaders will regularly correspond by chat or private message for case consultation purposes

The group skills training will be administered via a combination of:

  • Videos that teach skills, introduce new material
  • handouts, worksheets, and diary card management provided in a single PDF Adobe Reader fillable workbook that corresponds to videos,
  • Homework discussion threads corresponding to videos/worksheets and moderated by group leaders
  • A minimum of 1 group leader per 10 group members who post responses a minimum of 10 times each per week.
  • skills coaching for members by forum post to all members or individually with a group leader via private chat or messaging
  • Group leader shall take part in case consultation on a weekly basis via chat or private messaging.
  • An open group format so people can join when they want and complete the modules at their own pace.
  • Those who complete the workbook and turn them in to a group leader for an evaluation will receive an honorary certificate of completion.
  • Whether a group leader, professional therapist, or not, all peers are created equally and shall act equally as peers not as licensed professionals.

If you are interested in participating, please sign up using the form below




  1. Can Borderline Personality Disorder TRULY be overcome completely? I am so immersed with the severity of it that I fear I am too far gone. 😥

  2. Hi Pinki. Weird question. I see that you are using films to provide examples of DBT skills to your group. I was wondering if you are pulling the films from a document called “Using Film to Teach Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills.” I have been trying to assemble clips for a DBT Skills Group, and I haven’t been able to locate all the movies. So I thought, if you already assembled the clips (on YouTube maybe?) maybe you would share. Thanks!

    • My films are made entirely from scratch using a variety of programs and media. Once I get all the skill sets outlined, I may offer a powerpoint template for group leaders/individual therapists, but right now, I am still in the editing phase. Thank you for your question and I will definitely have to check out the document you mentioned. I am always looking for new DBT material for my tool box. Stay mindful.

    • Laura Burlingame-Lee
    • Posted June 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Pinki, I was not sure in my form whether to check group therapist or individual therapist teaching DBT, as I do both. I selected the group therapist option, but I actually do both about equally. Good luck!!

    • Thanks for pointing that out. Once the skills group is ready to go, I will have a more comprehensive assessment form. I appreciate the feedback.You are awesome!

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