DBT training clinic

Dr. King supervises a training clinic in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT1, 2, 3) for a nearby federal court system reentry program, as part of a suite of services offered by those courts for formerly incarcerated persons under their jurisdiction. He is pleased to be collaborating with colleagues at some other nearby universities for this service.

The theory- and evidence-informed4, 5, 6, 7 telepsychology8, 9, 10, 11 DBT program was developed specifically for individuals undergoing reentry to the community from prison.12, 13, 14 The program consists of remote intake and final assessment sessions and 12 remote sessions of individual DBT skills training.15, 16, 17, 18, 19 The program also involves population-specific diary cards,20, 21 a tailored client skill training manual with skills practice homework and as-needed phone coaching,22, 23, 24 and regular consultation team meetings.25, 26 In addition, the program incorporates activities in line with the spirit of quality improvement, and eventual program evaluation work is anticipated.27, 28

Distinctions of the program from traditional full-model DBT include justice context-specific case formulation concepts and case management policies, the absence of group skills training, and the program's relatively brief nature. A comparison of the pilot program to other forensic/correctional DBT programs is available here. And a comparison of the pilot program to other forensic/correctional telehealth programs is available here.

On behalf of the program, Dr. King also completed the DBT Program Fidelity Checklist (DBT PFC29; percent adherence = 100%) and Program Fidelity Scale30 (percent adherence = 85%). Independent ratings of the program by a professional with DBT expertise using the DBT PFC yielded a percentage adherence of 86%. The lower relative adherence percentage was due to the independent professional rating the pilot version of the program as not ensuring that skills coaching and crisis intervention was made available to clients at all times outside of scheduled sessions; and the pilot version of the program not making outreach to include caregivers (e.g., parents, other family members, or supportive individuals) in treatment, despite serving vulnerable adults. This feedback has been incorporated into program adjustments toward enhanced quality assurance/utmost DBT model fidelity.

PhD students in clinical psychology at MSU serve as student therapists and MA students serve as program administrative staff. Student therapists and staff (and Dr. King) practice the skills they preach,31 to increase their prowess at teaching skills, working with clients, functioning as a team, and caring for themselves.

Resources developed by or used by the program are available on the program resources page.

Contact Dr. King if interested in learning more about this program.

Doctoral student therapists, Kenny Gonzalez and Rachel Bomysoad, attending a court graduation ceremony. Congrats to the graduates!

Doctoral student therapists at court graduation

Dr. King's DBT clinic has also been offering training in self-care for professionals via adapting recommended self-care strategies for psychologists to all professionals, and recasting these practices in terms of DBT skills.