DBT in Detail: Teaching the Distress Tolerance Skills


Note: This live virtual workshop took place in July 2021. If you’re interested in seeing this topic presented again, please contact us at admin@avant-training.com !

Distress tolerance (DT) is one of the four primary skill areas of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Most often described as the ability to withstand negative or uncomfortable emotional states, the primary aim of DT skills is to decrease maladaptive coping behaviors while increasing adaptive coping strategies. A lack of Distress Tolerance has emerged as a transdiagnostic risk factor for a variety of psychopathologies, and while the bulk of DT research has focused on preventing dangerous or risky behaviors (i.e., self-harm, suicidal ideation & gestures, alcohol use, etc.), DT skills have also been shown to be helpful in preventing more day-to-day difficulties (i.e., stress, depression, obsessive thinking).

This workshop will review the goals for the DBT distress tolerance module and then teach each of the crisis survival and radical acceptance DT skills. Drs. Edwards and Santorelli will use case examples from DBT groups as well as individual therapy cases to illustrate how skills are taught to clients, how clients utilize skills in a variety of distressing situations, common barriers to practicing skills, and strategies for troubleshooting the application of skills.

Learning Objectives

  • List the goals for the DBT Distress Tolerance skills module.
  • Demonstrate how to teach each of the DBT Distress Tolerance crisis survival skills to therapy clients.
  • Explain DBT Distress Tolerance radical acceptance definition (including what DBT states acceptance IS and is NOT).
  • Demonstrate how to teach each of the radical acceptance skills to therapy clients.

Continuing Education Credit – 3 Hours

  • APA – Avant Training is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Avant Training maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • GSCSW –  This workshop is approved for Core CE hours through the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work.
  • LPC, LMFT- Related hours

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