Devereux begins training clinicians,
leadership in dialectical behavior therapy
As part of its ongoing commitment to providing innovative
and evidence-based, trauma-focused care to youth and adults with emotional,
behavioral and cognitive differences, Devereux Advanced Behavioral
Health recently began training clinical staff in the organization’s
residential treatment settings in dialectical
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a form of cognitive
behavioral therapy (CBT), is designed to help individuals manage their emotions
and behaviors more effectively. DBT focuses on teaching skills in four key
areas, including mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and
A total of 35 Devereux clinicians across the country are currently
undergoing intensive DBT training, which includes participating in three
multi-day training sessions. In addition, each center’s clinical team will meet
once a month for 12 months with an assigned DBT trainer from the Treatment Implementation Collaborative to
help support implementation.
“DBT has proven to be a highly effective form of treatment
for individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders,” said Devereux Senior
Vice President and Chief Clinical/Medical Officer Yolanda Graham, M.D. “While understanding the thoughts that drive
behaviors is a critical component of therapy, helping our youth and adults regulate
and manage their emotions and behaviors, through DBT, is essential for them to thrive
in their homes or community-based settings, once they leave residential
Devereux leaders learn DBT skills
In April, during Devereux’s President’s Executive Council
meeting, Treatment Implementation Collaborative (TIC) representatives provided an
overview of DBT to Devereux’s leadership team, along with tools and information
on how to best support a successful DBT implementation.
“Devereux is committed to achieving the highest level of
excellence with DBT implementation, and our leadership team was excited to
learn more about this evidence-based treatment and its many benefits,” Graham shared.
“During the training session, our leaders had the opportunity to experience and
practice key DBT skills. In addition, since mindfulness – or being present in
the moment – is a core practice of DBT, leaders worked on three mindfulness
techniques, and learned how mindfulness and
other DBT skills can not only benefit the individuals we serve, but our staff
as well, which can result in decreased burnout and increased job satisfaction.”
Implementing DBT across Devereux
to the current implementation, Devereux Pennsylvania
Children’s Behavioral Health Services (CBHS) had been offering DBT in its outpatient
services, and Devereux Massachusetts was providing this
form of therapy in its residential program. Now, Devereux is taking a national
approach to standardization and implementation of DBT training to ensure
fidelity. Note: Fidelity of
implementation occurs when instructors deliver training curriculum in the exact
same way it was designed to be used and delivered.
this means: All 35 clinicians at Devereux will receive the
necessary supports to become individually certified as DBT therapists. Once that
certification process is complete, the nonprofit will work to certify its
centers, which will require a multi-day assessment by Behavioral Tech, the
developer of DBT.
Devereux also plans to provide DBT training to its direct support
professionals (DSPs). DSPs will participate as members of their center’s
consultation teams, and will be taught how to effectively coach youth and
adults in using their DBT skills on a daily basis.
“The entire process is expected to take up to two years to
complete,” Graham explained. “When it is all said and done, our staff will be
able to help those in our care reduce any self-destructive behaviors they may
have – and put them on a path to achieving healthy, productive and more fulfilling
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