C-DBT Program

This group is specifically for family, friends and supporters of individuals with extreme emotions and those in DBT Programs!
Unique Learning Paths
An enhanced learning experience with flexible learning paths and professional guidance!
Participants access live Zoom sessions with our facilitators who run also DBT programs and are carers themselves!
Discuss with others
Participate in our online forum, share thoughts and ideas, increase connection with other carers in your group!


Weekly Sessions

Why do C-DBT?

Are you a carer, family member, partner or friend of someone who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and/or extreme emotional dysregulation?

If you are, C-DBT is a program that can provide you with support and practical skills to effectively embrace compassion and wisdom each day to fully experience and participate in life!  

The C-DBT program is based on the work of Perry Hoffman, Alan Fruzzetti, Marsha Linehan and Shari Manning which was first published in 1999. The Australian DBT Institute delivered our first C-DBT Skills Training in 2004 to complement our DBT programs and to support carers, partners, family and friends of individuals in our DBT programs. Today’s version of our C-DBT Skills Training Program has been further enhanced to include the lived experience of individuals with extreme emotions and their carers as well as current research.

C-DBT acknowledges that sharing a life with a loved one with emotional sensitivity and extreme emotions can be delightful, as well as challenging and overwhelming. As carers, partners, family and friends we can have experiences/moments of emotional vulnerability and sensitivity ourselves. C-DBT is a program for individuals who want to continue supporting loved ones and can see the benefit from becoming more skilful themselves.

The main goals of C-DBT Skills Training are to: ·       
  • provide carers, friends, family members and/or partners with the skills that enhance compassion, coping and the support of loved ones.
  • provide an overview of the skills and resources taught in DBT programs throughout Australia.
  • learn about how emotional sensitivity and overwhelm impact relationships
  • acquire effective relationship, crisis management and self-management skills.

What's included?

In addition to the Zoom sessions on a weekly basis, all participants get ongoing access to DBT Assist which is full of video examples of Skills and DBT Worksheets.


  • Carers with Carer Experiences
  • Unique Learning Paths
  • DBT Skills as taught in classes
  • Managing the Complexities
  • Discuss with other carers
  • Ongoing Access to Content

Week 1: C-DBT Introduction

• Program goals and overview • Overview of emotion dysregulation and borderline personality disorder • Introduction to dialectics and key dialectical patterns in family functioning • Biosocial Model & Behaviour Responses to Stress • Skills Coaching in DBT

Wk 2 & 3: Being Aware (Mindfulness)

• Methods to access and to express our Wise/Balanced Mind” • The essential skill of mindful observing • Mindful describing to put words to our inner experience, to validate, and to communicate more accurately • Participating more mindfully, openly, and deeply to truly engage our relationships • Increasing awareness of our judging • Learning to non-judgmentally describe • How to one-mindfully direct our attention in relationship • Increasing effective ways of relating with the priority on “What’s Effective/What Works?”

Wk 4 & 5: Family & Carer Relationships

• DBT Bio-Social Theory and empathy • Understanding the results of invalidation • How to use Validation as an essential skill in relating and for emotion dysregulation • Recognizing the context that triggers behavioural challenges and conflict • Recognising the function of problem behaviours and how to avoid unintentionally reinforce these behaviours • Using a 24-hour timeline (behavioural chain analysis) to more effectively understand and intervene in a problem behaviour patterns

Wk 6: Coping with Chaos 

• Strategies to effectively accept (when necessary), not resist or judge challenging situations • Replacing old mood-dependent, self-defeating behaviours with effective, crisis-survival skills

Wk 7: Managing Emotions

• Understanding the functions of emotions • Goals of emotion regulation as support and guide • Using Mindfulness to understand intense emotions • Applying skills to decrease our vulnerability to overwhelming emotions • Applying skills to decrease our emotional suffering and reactivity with others

Wk 8 & 9: Navigating Relationships

• Applying Core Mindfulness skills in our relationships • The role of family beliefs, secrets, myths • Clarifying goals and priorities for our objectives, relationships, and self-respect needs

Wk 10: Applying C-DBT in our Important Relationships

• Fine-tuning our 24-hour timeline (Behaviour Chain Analyses) • Reviewing the C-DBT skills and strategies in light of individual Values, Goals and Actions • Discuss the most important skills that each member wants to commit to practice