<h1>David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW</h1>

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    Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Skills Group and Individual Therapy



    NuView Psychological Services
    6120 Oren Ave
    Stillwater, MN 55082
    Phone: (651) 430-0888
    Fax: (651) 430-0889

    New DBT Skills Training Group at NuView.

    The DBT Skills Training Group meets weekly at Nuview Psychological Services on Saturday morning at 10:30 am (social hour at 10am) and is taught in a 1 1/2 hour lecture style format. It takes about seven (7) months to complete all the modules once and new clients are added every ten weeks. It is recommended that clients complete all modules twice, though this isn’t required. Skills learned are practiced at home. Diary cards are completed weekly to assist in using skills learned and in monitoring mood as well as making changes in target behaviors. Occasional homework assignments assist clients in putting new skills into practice. Call David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW at (763)250-1231. For appointments call 651-430-0888.

    What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment designed for persons with self-destructive behaviors, such as self-defeating or self-injurious behavior, suicidal thoughts and actions. Diagnoses may include personality disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, eating disorders, or alcohol and drug problems.

    We believe self-destructive behaviors are learned coping techniques for unbearably intense and negative emotions. Negative emotions like shame, guilt, sadness, fear, and anger are a normal part of life. Some people are particularly inclined to have very intense and frequent negative emotions. Sometimes, the human brain is simply “hard-wired” to experience stronger emotions, either because of inherited traits or past traumatic events. Additionally, sometimes clients have mood or anxiety disorders that are not controlled by medications and thus lead to emotional suffering or emotional vulnerability. A person who is emotionally vulnerable tends to have quick, intense, and difficult-to-control emotional reactions that make his or her life seem like a rollercoaster.

    An invalidating environment is also a major contributing factor to emotional vulnerability. “Invalidating” refers to a failure to treat a person in a manner that conveys attention, respect, and understanding.

    Clients in DBT receive three main modes of treatment – individual therapy, skills group, and phone coaching. In individual therapy, clients receive once weekly one hour individual sessions.

    The DBT Skills Training Group meets weekly at NuView Psychological Services and is taught in a 1 1/2 hour lecture style format. It takes about seven (7) months to complete all the modules once and new clients are added every ten weeks. It is recommended that clients complete all modules twice, though this isn’t required. Skills learned are practiced at home. Diary cards are completed weekly to assist in using skills learned and in monitoring mood as well as making changes in target behaviors. Occasional homework assignments assist clients in putting new skills into practice.

    The DBT Skills Training Group is open to adults. All clients who are in the program must also be in individual therapy. You will meet with a therapist for an intake assessment and to receive information about group rules and requirements. If you are currently in individual therapy and are working well with your current therapist you can continue with that therapist.

    If you are not currently involved in therapy, you may start individual therapy with the therapist assigned. We coordinate with therapists inside and outside of the agency. You will be placed on a waiting list and called as soon as there is an opening.

    What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training?

    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training is the psycho-educational component of a therapy designed for persons with self-destructive behaviors, such as self-defeating or self-injurious behavior, suicidal thoughts and actions. Diagnoses of those who may benefit for the program may include personality disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, eating disorders, or alcohol and drug problems.

    I believe self-destructive behaviors are learned coping techniques for unbearably intense and negative emotions. Negative emotions like shame, guilt, sadness, fear, and anger are a normal part of life. Some people are particularly inclined to have very intense and frequent negative emotions. Sometimes, the human brain is simply “hard-wired” to experience stronger emotions, either because of inherited traits or past traumatic events. Additionally, sometimes clients have mood or anxiety disorders that are not controlled by medications and thus lead to emotional suffering and/or emotional vulnerability. A person who is emotionally vulnerable tends to have quick, intense, and difficult-to-control emotional reactions that make his or her life seem like a rollercoaster.

    An invalidating environment is also a major contributing factor to emotional vulnerability. “Invalidating” refers to a failure to treat a person in a manner that conveys attention, respect, and understanding.

    Clients in DBT at NuView receive two main modes of treatment – individual therapy and skills group. In individual therapy, clients receive up to once weekly and no less that once every 3 weeks one hour individual sessions. Individual therapy can be arranged at the Mental Health Center or other clinics as long as a release remains in place throughout involvement in the group and the therapist agrees to integrate DBT into the therapy.

    Clients also must commit to attending a two hour weekly skills group for at least seven months, the time it takes to complete the curriculum, and individual therapy. Skills groups or classes clients learn four sets of important skills – Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

    Skills are Taught in a four module or education unit format:

    Module 1: Core Mindfulness
    Clients learn to better focus their attention, to be more aware (mindful) of what’s happening within themselves and in their environment, and to make better decisions that include increased use of reasoning rather than just reacting emotionally.

    Module 2: Distress Tolerance
    Clients learn to use coping skills to tolerate distress more effectively and to better cope with problems that they can’t change.

    Module 3: Emotion Regulation
    Clients learn skills to be more aware of emotions experienced and the purpose behind them, and to better manage their emotions so that they less frequently experience extreme “emotional highs and lows”.

    Module 4: Interpersonal Effectiveness
    Clients improve communication skills, learn skills to better balance their lifestyle, and to maintain and improve relationships.
    About the Therapist

    David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW is a true believer in the value of emotion education and have been teaching it for over 30 years. He has broad experience providing counseling to a wide variety of adults including many people with long standing, complex, and difficult problems that haven’t responded well to treatment. He has extensive experience with the broadest diversity in treating depression, anxiety, personality disorders including Borderline PD, complicated grief, relationship difficulties, parenting, recovery from child and/or domestic abuse, crime survival and trauma. He’s a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and has worked in a number of community mental health settings as a therapist and manager.


    Have Questions?
    Call David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW
    at (763) 600-7609
    or davemsw@4securemail.com

    For appointments call 651-430-0888.
    NuView Psychological Services
    6120 Oren Ave
    Stillwater, MN 55082
    Phone: (651) 430-0888
    Fax: (651) 430-0889