DBT Skills Workshop with Dr. Charlie Swenson

April 8-9, 2019



At its core, Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a skill-building treatment. As such, every DBT program in the world offers skills training to patients. It is through the acquisition, strengthening, and generalization of these DBT skills, to their natural environments that patients gain the capacities to:

  • Use attention and awareness to stabilize and see clearly
  • Use reality acceptance and crisis survival strategies to safely ride through emotional distress;
  • U emotion regulation skills to establish a healthy relationship with emotions
  • Use interpersonal effectiveness skills to build and maintain healthy relationships


Participant Objectives

In this two-day workshop, participants will be taught:

  • The Four Modules of DBT Skills
  • How to create and conduct a DBT skills training group
  • How to use additional strategies to engage the patients’ attention and motivation
  • How to weave DBT skills training into individual therapy


The instructor will use didactics teaching, illustrative examples, and demonstrations of how to run a group, as well as active discussion with participants.


As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Create a functional DBT skills training group
  • Conduct an effective DBT skills training group
  • Enhance the attention and motivation of group participants
  • Understand, utilize, and teach core mindfulness skills
  • Understand, utilize, and teach distress tolerance skills
  • Understand, utilize, and teach emotion regulation skills
  • Understand, utilize, and teach interpersonal effectiveness skills
  • Effectively weave skills training into individual therapy sessions


Instructor Bio

Charlie Swenson is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School, and runs his private practice in Northampton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College, Yale Medical School, and Yale’s Psychiatry Program. For 14 years, Dr. Swenson was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical School in New York- where he directed psychoanalytic and DBT programs for individuals with borderline personality disorder. He has conducted DBT training throughout North America and Europe, for over 25 years.


Dr. Swenson has published more than twenty articles and book chapters on DBT, and the treatment of borderline personality disorder. In 2016, he published DBT Principles in Action: Change, Acceptance, andDialectics. He offers a weekly podcast about the use of DBT skills in adverse situations, called To Hell and Back, which can be found at ITunes podcasts and at his website, www.charlierswenson.com.


Dr. Swenson brings a background in psychoanalytic therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapies, and DBT to his teaching and his practice, where he treats adults, adolescents, couples, and families. Dr. Swenson co-founded ISITDBT (the International Society for Implementation and Training of DBT) with Marsha Linehan in 1996. He was the first recipient of the Cindy Sanderson Outstanding Educator Award, given by ISITDBT in 2004. He received the Alfred Stanton Award from McLean Hospital in 2015.


Dr. Swenson lives in Northampton with his wife, Dr. Meredith Gould, and two dogs. They have two sons, ages 20 and 24. As a teacher, Charlie is known for his clarity, authenticity, humor and warmth.



To Register:



Brochure:  DBT SKills 2019 Brochure



Smith College Campus Center

100 Elm Street

Northampton, MA 01063


For more information, please contact:

Rowen Gray- rgray@cutchins.org

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