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Psychotherapy Essentials to Go

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Emotion Dysregulation


Shelley McMain (Author), Carmen Wiebe (Author), Robert Maunder (Editor), Paula Ravitz (Editor)

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A quick-reference, multi-media guide to using dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to treat affect dysregulation.

Developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment for borderline personality disorder that integrates principles of change and acceptance in order to help clients who have severe emotion dysregulation and impulsive behavior. This guide describes the primary tenets of DBT and illustrates some of its essential techniques—namely validation, commitment strategies, behavioral chain analysis, and skills coaching—that can be used with a range of clients. By understanding underlying problems and balancing compassionate acceptance with a push for change, clinicians can use DBT basics in their day-to-day work to help clients manage emotion dysregulation and impulsive urges.

Included in this comprehensive guide are a DVD of sample therapy sessions and clinical explication that describe how to implement the protocol, as well as a laminated pocket reminder card. An on-the-go package of practical tools that busy clinicians won’t want to be without.


“Through its clear and organized writing, [this book] is a great learning experience as it explains through figures and points how to lead a successful therapy. . . By following the instructions of the editors, readers gain insight and knowledge into how best to incorporate DBT into their work and how best to help clients who require this therapy.” — International Journal of Psychotherapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Emotion Dysregulation . . . contains an excellent introduction to the theory and it offers basic knowledge on how it is applied. . . . I gained a basic understanding of the theory, and also found tools to work with clients who are struggling with their emotions.” — The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter

“I enjoyed this series from two different perspectives: The first perspective is as a professor of counseling who occasionally teaches theory. Students using these books will find them readable, thorough, and applicable to the practice of therapy. New therapists will find them useful to consolidate their own use practice, and they will possibly be introduced to new material. . . . For the experienced practitioner who wants to expand into other modalities, these books introduce a new therapeutic approach. And for those who have only had a quick overview of many theories, this series offers another look, and possibly new material to add to what was already studied. . . . I recommend this series and hope that it will be expanded to include other therapeutic approaches.” — The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter

Psychotherapy Essentials To Go is a truly impressive series of books. Elevating pragmatics over dogma, it is grounded in the wisdom of front-line psychotherapists who adapt the core principles of empirically supported psychotherapies to flexibly address a myriad of clinical issues. No other series of psychotherapy handbooks is as skillfully concise and yet thorough. It will quickly become a standard reference for teaching and enhancing clinical competence.” — Zindel V. Segal, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders, University of Toronto–Scarborough; author of The Mindful Way Through Depression

“How fabulous is this! A brief primer on DBT written by one of the world’s experts in DBT treatment and research. Even better: practical exercises are included throughout. My advice to you is to try this out. You won’t regret it.” — Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Director, Behavioral Research and Training Clinics, Department of Psychology at the University of Washington

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Also By: Paula Ravitz View all by author...