Challenges and Dilemmas in the Practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Friday, April 5, 2019
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

The Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro, Vermont 
6 CE Contact Hours

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Joan Wheelis, MD                    Hila Ben-Levi, PsyD

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Course Description: 

This workshop will assume a basic understanding of DBT and will cover selective topics related to the challenges encountered in individual DBT treatment including the use of the dialectical paradigm to establish and maintain effective treatment, in-session behavioral activation, and contingency management. Working with suicidal patients, the dilemmas involved when working with  families,  and the use of hospitalization will also be discussed. Didactics will be interspersed with use of role play and clinical video.

Learning Objectives - at the end of this conference, participants will be able to: 

  1. Identify the function of a dialectical worldview as well as treatment strategies to help consolidate a viable individual DBT treatment..
  2. Recognize evidence of avoidance and the importance of behavioral activation in individual DBT therapy sessions.
  3. Apply principles of contingency management to challenges faced during intersession contact.
  4. Describe the role and function of family involvement.
  5. Evaluate antecedent variables and the function/consequences of suicidal behavior. 

Joan Wheelis, MD,. is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Psychiatrist at Mclean Hospital and on the faculty for the McLean/Massachusetts General Hospital Residency Training Program. She established the outpatient DBT Training Clinic for residents and junior faculty at McLean Hospital and has served for many years as a DBT consultant to the McLean affiliated Gunderson Residence and the Outpatient Borderline Clinic. In 1996 she founded Two Brattle Center, an outpatient mental health clinic in Cambridge, specializing in intensive DBT treatment. She began her own formal training in DBT in 1996 and became a DBT Trainer for Behavioral Tech in 2003. She maintains a private practice in Cambridge and is also a training and supervising analyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Her particular interests include the treatment of chronic suicidal behavior of patients with borderline psychopathology and the relationship of insight and action in producing therapeutic change.

Hila Ben-Levi received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from William James College (MSPP) in 2005, after completing her internship at the Victims of Violence Program at Cambridge Hospital, and at The Human Relations Service in Wellesley, MA. Originally from Israel, she earned her B.A. in Human Development and her M.A. in Counseling, from Tel-Aviv University. She served as the Assistant Clinical Director at the Human Relations Service, a community mental health agency and a College Counseling Center, where she provided direct clinical services, supervision, and consultation to various school systems, and crisis interventions. In addition to practicing Adult DBT at Two Brattle Center, she is also a Harvard Medical School Postdoctoral Fellow at McLean hospital’s 3EAST, a specialized DBT program for adolescents and young adults.. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and has a special interest in working with trauma survivors, and in delivering evidence-based treatment.


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Any questions? Please call 802-258-4359.
Friday, April 5, 2019
The Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro, Vermont

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
Coffee and Registration
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Review of the fundamental theoretical contributions to DBT 

Use of a Dialectical Paradigm to establish commitment and maintain effective treatment
Optimizing the use of Acceptance and Change Paradigms
10:00 AM -10:15 AM
Break and Refreshments 
10:15 AM - 11:30  AM
        The Use of Behavioral Activation in  individual therapy

         The use of contingency management  strategies for addressing intersession contact  
11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
The role of the primary therapist and family involvement
12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
Lunch in the Retreat cafeteria and included with your registration)
1:45 PM - 3:45 PM
 Working with suicidal patients:
         Risk Management, Therapist Burnout, Use of Hospitalization
3:45 PM - 4:00 PM
Participant Questions and Answers