Syllabus and Course Contract for

PSY 480.31: Practicum for Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training

Section 01:Th 6:00–8:50

Spring 2017

Contact Information

Instructor: W. Joel Schneider
Office: De Garmo 456
Phone: 438-8410
Office hours: Tuesdays 12pm–1pm and by appointment

Course Objectives1

This course is intended for graduate students in the clinical-counseling psychology program and is designed to meet the following program objectives:

Course Description

The purpose of the DBT Skills Group is to teach a set of coping responses we believe will be useful to participants in many areas of their lives. The group will combine brief lectures and discussions of key ideas from the DBT literature with exercises to illustrate the points discussed and begin turning these ideas into natural responses we make in our day-to-day life. There will be “homework” for clients and like many aspects of our lives– you will probably find the more you enter into activities, the more you will gain. Starting the third week, we will have 90 minute group skills training sessions with adult clients. In colaboration with 2nd-year supervisions, 1st-year clinicians help prepare for these sessions. Each 1st-year clinician will co-lead at least 2 group sessions and act as back-up leaders for at least 2 sessions. Other roles include record keeper, contact person, and gopher).

Weekly Planning Meetings

Leaders and back-up leaders (along with their supervisors) attend weekly planning meetings, lasting about 2 hours (time to be determined). This means that each 1st-year clinician will help plan for 4 our of the 12 sessions.

Weekly Supervision

Each week 1st-year clinicians will meet with their 2nd-year supervisors at a mutually convenient time and place to meet for 1 hour. In supervision, mindfulness journals and readings will be discussed. Skills will be practiced and, when appropriate, upcoming sessions will be planned.


Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.

Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT skills training manual (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.


Your grade will be based on the following class components:

Special Accommodations

If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this class, please contact Disability Concerns at 438-5853 (voice), 438-8620 (TDD).

Academic Integrity

Plagiarizing and cheating on exams and other assignments are not tolerated. Any student exhibiting academic dishonesty will receive an F in the course and will be referred for disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include expulsion from the university.


Additionally, as an employee of Illinois State University, some of your work will involve access to information/records that are confidential. It is your responsibility to respect the confidentiality of student, patient, and department records; to follow office procedures in order to protect client privacy; and to act in a professional manner, both to the public and over the phone.


The best way to reach me is by email or in person, before or after class. I do not check my office telephone messages nearly as often as I check my email. I may, from time to time, email you about various matters.

DBT Skills Group Roles

Group Leaders (2 people)