The treatment team is an essential component of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This much-needed resource from Jennifer H. R. Sayrs and DBT originator Marsha M. Linehan explains how DBT teams work, ways in which they differ from traditional consultation teams, and how to establish an effective team culture. The book addresses the role of the DBT team leader; the structure of meetings; the use of DBT strategies within teams; identifying and resolving common team problems; and important functions before, during, and after suicide crises. User-friendly features include end-of-chapter exercises and reproducible handouts and forms. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size.

    1. DBT Teams: An Introduction
    2. DBT Team Tasks and Roles: Who Does What?
    3. The DBT Team Leader
    4. The Structure of the DBT Team: The Agenda
    5. Therapy for the Therapist
    6. Responding to Problems in the DBT Team
    7. Suicide Risk and the DBT Team
    8. Starting a DBT Team
    Reproducible Handouts


    Jennifer H. R. Sayrs, PhD, ABPP, has served as a research therapist on three of Marsha Linehan's dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) clinical trials and as DBT adherence coder on several trials. As a trainer for Behavioral Tech, she provides a wide range of DBT workshops in the United States and around the world. She is Director of the DBT Center at the Evidence Based Treatment Centers of Seattle (EBTCS), where she provides DBT to adults, adolescents, and families. The DBT Center was one of the first DBT teams in the nation to be awarded Program Certification by the DBT–Linehan Board of Certification. Dr. Sayrs is also a founding member and Executive Director of EBTCS. She is a board member of the American Board of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology, a specialty board of the American Board of Professional Psychology.

    Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, the developer of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Director Emeritus of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington. Her primary research interest is in the development and evaluation of evidence-based treatments for populations with high suicide risk and multiple, severe mental disorders. Dr. Linehan's contributions to suicide research and clinical psychology research have been recognized with numerous awards, including the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology and the Career/Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She is also a recipient of the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation and the James McKeen Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science. In her honor, the American Association of Suicidology created the Marsha Linehan Award for Outstanding Research in the Treatment of Suicidal Behavior. She is a Zen master.

    "In my experience, the team is the least focused-on and yet most critical component of the delivery of DBT. Working with clients with extremely challenging conditions can lead to burnout, helplessness, despair, and resignation. It is the role of the team to prevent that from happening--and teams need to adhere to the protocols and principles of DBT in order to function effectively. Sayrs and Linehan's book is clear, compassionate, methodical, and comprehensive. It provides essential practices for all consultation teams, whether newly formed or well established."--Blaise Aguirre, MD, Medical Director, 3East Dialectical Behavior Therapy program, McLean Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

    "A fabulous book. The principles and strategies for implementing a DBT team described in this volume are useful for all psychotherapists. Teams help prevent and address burnout, reduce drift, and promote learning, so that therapists can take their skills to the highest level. The list of team agreements alone is worth the price of the book! It includes items like: 'Be willing to call out the "elephant in the room" when others do not.'"--Jacqueline B. Persons, PhD, Director, Oakland Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center

    "It takes a village to really do DBT, yet creating that village is far from easy. Nothing in graduate or medical school prepared most of us to get emotionally vulnerable with peers, help colleagues find their way when they’re therapeutically lost, or speak directly about concerns that a particular patient is getting worse and not better. This book distills decades of experimentation and thinking about how to develop and sustain strong, vibrant DBT teams. Highly accessible, it breaks down the 'whats' and 'how-tos' of consultation teams into easy-to-follow steps and strategies. Each chapter concludes with practical exercises. Innovations include expanded team agreements and a thoughtful set of dialectical dilemmas for team leaders, as well as numerous clever team practices developed at the authors’ respective clinical settings."--Linda A. Dimeff, PhD, Director, Portland DBT Institute; Chief Scientific Officer and President, Evidence-Based Practice Institute, Seattle, Washington

    "A 'must have' for every DBT therapist and every DBT program. Sayrs and Linehan spell out in specific detail how to add the key treatment element that sets DBT apart from other therapies for extremely vulnerable populations. Finally, the guidebook we have been waiting for on how to set up effective teams and clarify the roles of the participants, how to run teams in ways that truly make a difference, and what to do when problems arise. It's all here, including reproducible forms, examples of what to say (and what not to say), and practice exercises. Your team will run better and you will be a better team member if you read and apply what is in this book."--Joan C. Russo, PhD, President, DBT–Linehan Board of Certification

    "This book shows how to accomplish the central task of the DBT consultation team--providing 'therapy for the therapist.' It is a comprehensive manual that is both deeply insightful and genuinely practical. Sayrs and Linehan describe the tools with which a group of DBT therapists create, structure, and conduct a consultation team; define meeting agendas and stick to them; balance dedication and rigor with vulnerability and flexibility; solve sticky and stubborn intrateam problems; and help each other with the ever-looming predicaments of suicide. The examples of problematic team functioning, with solutions brought from the authors’ own teams, are invaluable. This book is a brilliant synthesis, written in a straightforward manner by the best minds in DBT and studded with pearls of wisdom. It should be required reading for DBT newcomers and advanced clinicians alike."--Charles R. Swenson, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School

    "Practical and radically genuine, like a private DBT seminar tailored to the difficult and exhilarating work of DBT teams. I appreciate the clear guidelines and refreshingly straightforward advice and examples. Offering principles, not rules, this book is endlessly adaptable to the many settings where DBT is delivered and taught, and especially when exposure to traumatic content increases the risks of vicarious trauma and burnout. I will be pulling this book off the shelf often and will encourage all my colleagues and the students rotating through our program to read and use it."--Kathryn Kieran, MSN, Director of Nursing Operations, Hill Center for Women, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts