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Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy: A Practical Guide (Guides to Individualized Evidence-Based Treatment) 1st Edition

49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1462502325
ISBN-10: 1462502326
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Editorial Reviews


"This superb book finds the true dialectic between sophisticated writing and a 'how-to' approach. It is a 'must' for the shelves of every DBT therapist and those interested in the approach. Koerner is to be commended for this major contribution to the field."--Perry D. Hoffman, PhD, President, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder

"An incredibly useful book showing you how to work with difficult-to-treat clients. The presentation of DBT is crystal clear and highly practical, including systematic guidelines and concrete examples of actual interactions. I recommend this book to students and to new and advanced mental health practitioners, who will all encounter emotionally dysregulated clients."--Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, York University, Canada

"A beautifully written, engaging description of emotional dysregulation and its treatment through DBT. The book is richly illustrated with case material and extensive client-therapist dialogues that truly demonstrate DBT in action."--Andrew Christensen, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

"Koerner, an expert DBT therapist, has written a hands-on, clinically rich work that provides guidelines for when and how to apply DBT strategies for complex cases. The material is accessible to both experienced clinicians and therapists in training. This book is an invaluable guide and a handy tool kit for working with patients with pervasive emotion dysregulation."--Stefan G. Hofmann, PhD, Department of Psychology, Boston University

"This practical book teaches how to apply DBT theory to clinical problems, providing concrete ideas regarding the therapeutic process. The numerous case vignettes are excellent and create the effect of having a mentor telling you how to proceed. When Marsha Linehan writes the foreword to a book on DBT, you know that it is a work that stays true to DBT theory and practice."--Doody's Reviews
(Doody's Reviews 2012-10-01)

"A must read for anyone wanting to master the techniques of individual therapy in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). It is recommended for graduate classes in DBT, beginning and experienced therapists with or without prior knowledge of DBT, and those interested in clinical applications of emotions research....More than fulfills Kelly Koerner's promise in the preface of providing a user-friendly guide to conducting nuanced, competent individual therapy, using the theory and techniques of DBT. It is full of clear, straightforward information about how to initiate DBT, motivate clients, and use effective strategies to help emotionally and behaviorally dysregulated clients reduce their vulnerability and gain mastery in their lives. This book is equally strong in providing an overview of DBT and in explaining in detail the nitty-gritty steps of executing the treatment as it unfolds moment to moment. That Koerner is a DBT master therapist is evident throughout. Graduate students in the helping professions and beginning therapists will learn much about conducting DBT and how to move seamlessly from theory to execution. Experienced practitioners, both DBT therapists and those new to DBT, will benefit from the comprehensive overview, case formulations, and applications demonstrated in clinical vignettes. Clinicians from other theoretical orientations may find value in the discussions of boundaries, use of confrontation, and working with the therapeutic alliance. Therapists who are aware of only DBT skills training may be surprised at the expertise required to execute the individual therapy of DBT. The book is part of the well-respected Guides to Individualized Evidence-Based Treatment series, edited by Jacqueline Persons....Koerner does a truly impressive job...of presenting how the theory and spirit of DBT play out in practice. In eminently readable prose, she presents the nuts and bolts of therapeutic techniques clearly and succinctly. The book packs a tidal wave of information into a relatively brief volume....A major contribution to the 'how-to' therapy literature."--PsycCRITIQUES
(PsycCRITIQUES 2012-10-31)

About the Author

Kelly Koerner, PhD, is Founder and Creative Director of the Evidence-Based Practice Institute, where she explores how technology can be used for learning and collaboration to help practitioners get better clinical outcomes. She is an expert clinician, clinical supervisor, and trainer in DBT, with specialized training in many other evidence-based treatments. She has served as Director of Training for Marsha M. Linehan’s research investigating the efficacy of DBT for suicidal and drug-abusing individuals with borderline personality disorder; Creative Director at Behavioral Tech Research, where she developed e-learning and other technology-based methods to disseminate evidence-based practices; and Co-Founder and first CEO of Behavioral Tech, a company that provides training in DBT. Dr. Koerner is a Clinical Faculty member at the University of Washington and maintains a small clinical consulting practice in Seattle.


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Product Details

  • Series: Guides to Individualized Evidence-Based Treatment
  • Hardcover: 219 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (December 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462502326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462502325
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Roy Krawitz (DBT therapist, psychiatrist) on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Koerner has absolutely hit the mark! In my opinion, this book is right up there along with the best that have stood the test of time. I am a DBT therapist, trainer of DBT therapists and borderline personality disorder author and have never before written a review on Amazon, however could not hold back on my urge to share my excitement with colleagues. I expect that most clinicians, who practice DBT or integrate aspects of DBT into their practice, will cherish this book.

Koerner's humanity permeates the book in her deep respect and compassion for client and therapist alike and in her efforts to alleviate suffering by supporting clients and therapists towards their goals. The book compassionately validates the considerable challenges we face as therapists and is also hopeful and empowering of therapists by the rare gift of giving precise examples of what we can do at any one moment.

Koerner describes case conceptualization and treatment planning that underpins successful future micro-interventions; then describes the core principles of DBT practice (behavioral therapy, validation/acceptance, dialectics) and finishes with a chapter on team. In covering these topics, Koerner integrates realistic complex scripted therapy dialogue with clients to illustrate what she, a consummate expert DBT therapist, might be thinking and doing moment to moment that weaves in the core principles.

Every surfer searches for the perfect wave and every skier searches for the perfect snow conditions; and every decade or so the perfect wave or snow conditions exist in a brief moment of perfection and joy. Koerner has created, for me, the perfect 20 page chapter that I believe will bring joy to many therapists for a long time.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mbb on February 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great DBT book - it describes all the necessary DBT components and theoretical framework, and it does it in a very easy to read, engaging manner. Think of it as a practice-oriented, condensed version of Marsha's book, with examples. These great examples made many of the difficult DBT concepts very clear to me. Now, this is my favorite DBT book, and it is always near me, in case I need to brush up on my skills as a DBT therapist.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Long on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Koerner has taken very complex topics and has made them quite understandable, using case examples and metaphors to clarify each concept. She has done a fabulous job of bringing these concepts to life, in a very readable style that captures and keeps the reader's interest. This is a book that will be invaluable for all students of DBT - from those of us with much experience in DBT to the students we teach about DBT. Well done, Kelly! Thank you!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Heather K. on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a therapist working with highly disordered adolescents & their families and over the past several years I have been focused on bringing DBT into my practice. I ordered this book a couple of weeks ago and since it arrived, I have been highlighting, writing in the margins, and busily flagging sections (there are A LOT of flags). I love how this book sets out clear steps for assessing, conceptualizing and treating clients within a DBT framework and concretizes complex interventions. This book--with its clear overview of DBT treatment and lovely tables--is what I've been looking for to help me more fully integrate the theory & practice of DBT in my work. In my opinion, it is a must-have for every clinician learning DBT.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JEAN DAVID BEYER on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have not finished reading this book, so this is tentative, but I am not likely to change what I will write here.

I have read other books about DBT, and other books about treatment of borderline personality disorder. The reason for my interest (and it requires a lot of interest to read through these technical books as I am not a trained psychotherapist) is that I have a friend eho was 15 when I met her, who suffers from BPD. Really suffers! And she is an orphan, often homeless, and suffers from multiple diagnoses. I was the first to recognize she suffers from BPD after about six months, and it has taken social service agencies almost seven years to realize this is one of her problems. So almost seven years have been wasted with pharmacotherapy that is ineffective, and sort-term palliative therapy that is also pretty much ineffective. Hence my interest in helping her, even without professional qualifications.

For example, I have read Marsha Linehan's book, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. I consider it a bible for this kind of thing. Also her Skills Training book. I have not been able to do much with skills training, because I would need more training myself to actually do it. I have also watched a lot of the DVDs and listened to some of the CDs offered by Behavioral Tech. All these have been very helpful to me and, I hope, to my friend.

I have also read John Gunderson's Borderline Personality Disorder -- A Clinical guide, first edition and am part way through the second edition. This book studies DBT and several other ways of treating BPD. It has a broader perspective than Marsha Linehan's book, but less depth. It helps fill in the gaps for me.
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