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ENHANCING DBT SKILLS: Addressing Complex Client Scenarios & Preventing Therapist Burnout
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When: March 16, 2018
8:00 AM - 4:15 PM
Where: Syracuse University - Watson Theatre in Watson Hall
405 University Place
Syracuse, New York  13224
United States
Contact: Stephanie Virginia

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Co-Sponsored by the Central New York Psychological Association and the Psychology Department at Syracuse University


DBT is an effective evidence-based therapy for complex, difficult-to-treat cases. Suicidality, impulsivity, and intense emotional reactivity can derail the treatment if the therapist is not effective and agile at operationalizing DBT’s principles and protocols. This workshop will instruct and demonstrate how a therapist creates a DBT-based behavioral case conceptualization to remain on track, how she converts that conceptualization into a series of “mini-treatment plans” to be activated as needed during sessions, how to effectively address in-session dysfunctional behaviors that threaten to derail therapy, and how to prevent and treat therapist burnout, a consequence of treating emotionally dysregulated individuals.

Workshop Schedule

Registration and Continental Breakfast
Welcome and Introduction
Mindfulness Practice & Orientation
Case Conceptualization in DBT
Using Mini-Treatment Plans to Apply DBT As Needed in Sessions
Treating In-session Dysfunctional Behaviors with DBT
Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Therapist Burnout in DBT

Learning Objectives

This workshop is designed to help you:

  1. Conceptualize cases in a DBT treatment.
  2. Convert the conceptualization into a series of mini-treatment plans to activate as needed in sessions.
  3. Treat in-session dysfunctional behaviors with DBT principles and strategies.
  4. Specify therapy interfering behaviors to be addressed during sessions.
  5. Demonstrate the use of DBT’s behavioral chain analysis as the template for a case conceptualization.
  6. Demonstrate the use of a mini-treatment plan with a patient during a session.
  7. Identify, prevent, and treat therapist burnout using DBT’s principles and strategies.

About Dr. Swenson

Charles (Charlie) Swenson, M.D., is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. As Senior Psychiatrist, he oversees the clinical care in Western and Central Massachusetts for the Department of Mental Health. Originally trained in psychoanalysis, he undertook training in DBT and CBT beginning in 1987.

He has directed more than 35 ten-day DBT workshops over the past twenty years, teaching several hundred teams, has conducted about a dozen advanced workshops, and has implemented DBT in outpatient, inpatient, day treatment, residential, case management, and crisis settings. He is considered to be an inspiring teacher who brings DBT to life with clinical examples and demonstrations.

Dr. Swenson’s recent book for advanced DBT therapists, DBT Principles in Action: Acceptance, Change, and Dialectics (2017; Guilford), has received critical acclaim from professionals in the field. He treats his own patients - adults, adolescents, and families - in a private practice in Northampton, Massachusetts, and writes and performs songs about DBT even when they are not requested.

Fees (cost includes continental breakfast and buffet lunch):

Early bird registration (by February 15th):

  • CNYPA-member: $120
  • Non-CNYPA member: $140
  • Student: $80

Regular registration (February 16th - March 6th):

  • CNYPA-member: $140
  • Non-CNYPA member: $160
  • Student: $100

Full day parking will be available in Booth garage, which is located on Comstock Ave. between Marshall St. and Waverly Ave. The cost is $8 for conference attendees, so please let the attendant know you attended the DBT workshop.

Cancellation & CE Information

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations requested prior to March 2, 2017 will be given a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after March 2.

APA CEs: We are in the process of getting approval for 6.5 CEs from the American Psychological Association Office of Continuing Education. We will post on this site as soon as we have approval. There will be an additional $25 fee to receive APA CEs and we request that you bring a check for that amount to the workshop.

Social Worker CEUs: Social worker CEUs will be available to LCSWs only at no additional cost to participants. Please just let the registration staff know at sign-in that you are requesting social worker CEUs.

In order to be awarded APA CE or social worker CEU credit, participants must attend all 6.5 hours of instructional time and sign in and out of all breaks. You will also need to make sure to complete the program evaluation.

For further questions about the conference, please contact Stephanie Virginia at

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