Brookhaven Retreat is excited to announce that it has begun a staff dialectical behavior therapy skills group. In order to offer the highest quality of treatment for the women in its mental health and substance abuse program, Brookhaven Retreat has organized the 16-week training program, which begins in March and ends in July, and invited all staff to participate.
Participating staff meets weekly, and each meeting mimics as closely as possible how an outpatient DBT skills group for clients would be conducted. The first meeting, on March 21, focused on mindfulness skills. Subsequent groups will spend five weeks per topic on the other DBT skills of interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance.
Different staff members co-lead the sessions with Brookhaven Retreat’s medical director, Dr. Wood, allowing each member to practice both as a leader and a learner. Leading the groups offers staff the chance to learn the skills in greater depth so that they can best be taught to colleagues.
Staff members are encouraged to practice skills between the weekly meetings by filling out diary cards, exactly as clients would do. This allows staff to better understand the struggles that may arise with doing homework, and will reinforce the importance of practicing skills, as it is difficult to learn a skill without practice.
All staff, both clinical and nonclinical, is encouraged to attend. Brookhaven Retreat believes that the more practiced each and every staff member is in DBT skills, the more help staff can be to the women recovering in its facility. Through these efforts, Brookhaven Retreat helps women suffering from mental illness learn the tools required to find healing and lead stable lives after recovery.