DBT Skills Group

dbt skills group

DBT Skills Group

Join us for one of our DBT Skills Groups to learn skills for emotional regulation. We have 3 separate groups (one for youth and 2 for adults) coming up in January 2023.

Click the following links for details (time, locations, fees, etc.) or scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Adult DBT Group (Brantford)
Adult DBT Group (Waterloo)
Youth DBT Group (Waterloo)

What is DBT? (Some History)

In short, DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. But there is a lot more to learn about this therapeutic approach!

DBT was originally founded in the late 1970s by Marsha Linehan who was a suicide researcher at the time. Now a psychologist, Dr. Linehan reports being motivated to explore other ways to help people through their mental health crisis based on her own previous psychiatric hospitalization experience.

DBT is well known for treating borderline personality disorder but today it’s almost a faux pas to suggest that DBT is only used to treat this client population.



DBT is continuing to prove its effectiveness through rigorous clinical trials over the years. This therapeutic approach is still evolving to address a wide variety of mental health issues across a number of populations.

There is a plethora of research and clinical reports touting DBT as very effective in supporting clients identify and change negative thinking patterns and show them how to make healthier behavioural changes.


What does Dialectical Mean?

The term “dialectical” means “working with opposites”. DBT uses seemingly opposing strategies of ‘acceptance’ and ‘change’.

All DBT group therapy co-leaders will acknowledge this reality; that you are doing the best you can with what skills you have at this time. Yet, in order for you to move toward your personal goals, we will support you in becoming a ‘better’ version of yourself by introducing you to healthier options.

DBT involves developing four skill sets: two sets of acceptance-oriented skills and two sets of change-oriented skills. (But you’ll need to come group to learn what these are…)


Who is this DBT group for?

The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) skills training group being offered through Qualia Counselling Services is focused on providing adults (18+) an opportunity to learn new strategies to cope better with emotional upset.

Group work provides a more vibrant learning environment and is less threatening to individuals as it validates the fact that others also struggle with similar issues.

Mental Health Services Brantford

Have you ever heard yourself asking the following questions…?

“Why don’t I feel more control of my life?”

“Does anyone else feel as scattered as I do?”

“Why am I fine one second then ‘loose it’ after reading a text?”

“How can I tell my partner what I want without starting a fight?”

“Why do I have a hard time sticking up for myself?”

If no, congratulations – you’re quite fortunate! If so, this group can help you in the following ways:



How DBT Training Can Help:

• Gain insight into preventing yourself from being hijacked or held hostage by your emotions.

• Identify and maintain healthy relationships that meet your needs.

• Strengthen your self-respect and integrity.

• Discover new ways to deal with painful emotions in a non-destructive way.

• Manage to tolerate – and yes, even accept – stressful events and respond to them in a safe manner.

Qualia requires completion of a thorough intake form as well as identifying the name of an ongoing support of a mental health professional over the duration of this group.  This ensures you an opportunity to process and practice your newly acquired skills as well as provide you with familiar individual support not necessarily afforded in group therapy


What can I expect from this DBT group?

The Adult (18+) Emotion Regulation Skills Training Group is a closed group for only 12 participants*. Enrolment is a serious commitment as the duration of these classroom-like group sessions will be managed over two, 8-week segments. The content is dense but delivered in a warm and supportive capacity by professional co-leaders. Located at the Waterloo Medical Centre at 430 The Boardwalk, groups will be conducted in the 3rd Floor Conference Room. Parking is free, close to bus routes and the building is accessible.

Each session is conducted from 6:30pm – 8:30pm on Wednesdays commencing March 23, 2022 and run until July 6, 2022.



A critical element of all DBT skills training groups is the component of ‘homework’. As previously stated, there will be a lot of material being taught and reviewed. These weekly assignments fosters each persons ability to process and synthesize the lessons into real life situations in a timely manner.

There are 4 modules that all DBT skills training group consist of:

1)  Core Mindfulness Skills

2)  Emotion Regulation Skills

3)  Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

4)  Distress Tolerance Skills

The initial session will review group rules and format. The group co-leaders alternate turns conducting mindfulness exercises at the start of every group, reviewing homework and teaching weekly content. Group participants will be provided with their own individual DBT binders and ongoing-instruction how to use the various handouts and worksheets. All you need to bring is an open mindset, a willingness to learn and a 16 week commitment to make positive change in your life.

At Qualia Counselling and Mental Health services , there is always a place for you. We are a team of compassionate individuals who believe you can see effective, lasting change in your life.


DBT Group for Youth

In this recent video, Thom & Saria discuss the new DBT Group for Youth & Parents.


Upcoming/Current Groups

Click for details on each group (or scroll down for posters)

Adult DBT Group (Brantford)
Adult DBT Group (Waterloo)
Youth DBT Group (Waterloo)


It Gets Better

Don’t wait to get help. Qualia’s team of professional psychotherapists & psychologists are available to support you. We use proven techniques to help you see real change in your life.

Book a session