S41: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in the Private Sector: Making it Work

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By September 11, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Rebecca Medway

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in the Private Sector: Making it Work

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Rebecca is a passionate social worker, wife, mother, stepmother, daughter-in-law, amateur football player and reality tv enthusiast. She has over 20 years experience in the mental health sector working for government, non-government and private organisations in Qld, NSW and the UK. Rebecca has been a practitioner of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for 10 years and has completed both Intensive and Advanced Intensive training through Marsha Linehan’s training company BehavioralTech. She has gone on to further specialist training in DBT with Adolescents (Jill Rathus), using DBT to treat Difficult Problems, such as emptiness, anhedonia, and relationship chaos (Alan Fruzzetti) and DBT-PE - Prolonged Exposure, to treat PTSD (Melanie Harned). Since 2012 Rebecca has, with a group of dedicated colleagues, operated a comprehensive DBT program in the private sector. Rebecca works as a group facilitator and individual therapist across both DBTBrisbane’s Adult, and Young Person and Family Program working with clients from the age of 14. She also enjoys working with family members to assist them to develop strategies and skills to support their family members. Rebecca’s other passion is to train other staff to be able to utilise DBT strategies and skills to work effectively with complex and challenging clients.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is an evidenced based treatment for challenging behaviours associated with emotional dysregulation such as suicide, self harming, substance abuse, chaotic relationships. Developed and widely researched in the United States of America by Marsha Linehan the treatment is widely available across America in government settings and in the private sector.

In Australia, DBT has been widely recognised as an effective treatment, but not so widely available to consumers. Those consumers who are ineligible for public sector programs, where they are available, can usually only access hybrid or "DBT informed" programs which have variable outcomes.
This paper outlines the essential ingredients for successfully delivering a comprehensive, evidenced based, DBT program in the private sector, how to make it sustainable, lessons learned, and some of the outcomes achieved.

Learning Objectives Learning Objective 1: A snapshot of a successful comprehensive DBT program operating in the private sector, enthusiasm and hope for innovation or persisting with delivering services without relying on government mental health services or to meet the needs of a different population.
Learning Objective 2: DBT treats a life-threatening, serious mental health issue. Services need to be provided accross communities and accounting for and addressing the barriers to people receiving treatment. This model of service delivery provides flexibility and compliments mental health services.

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