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DBT® Skills in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A)

by James Mazza, Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza, Alec Miller, Jill Rathus and Heather Murphy Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Pbk 490 pages
AU$106.00 NZ$110.43
Product Status: Available in Approx 14 days
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Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills have been demonstrated to be effective in helping adolescents manage difficult emotional situations, cope with stress, and make better decisions.  From leading experts in DBT and school-based interventions, this unique manual offers the first nonclinical application of DBT skills.


The book presents an innovative social-emotional learning curriculum designed to be taught at the universal level in grades 6-12. Explicit instructions for teaching the skills - mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness - are provided in 30 lesson plans, complete with 98 reproducible handouts and three student tests.


The large-size format and lay-flat binding facilitate photocopying; purchasers also get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.

I. Overview of DBT STEPS-A
1. What Is DBT Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A)?
2.  Practical Issues in Schools
3. Teaching DBT STEPS-A to Challenging Students
II. Instructor Information, Lesson Plans, and Tests
Lesson 1. Orientation
Lesson 2. Dialectics
Lesson 3. Mindfulness:  Wise Mind
Lesson 4. Mindfulness:  “What” Skills
Lesson 5. Mindfulness: “How” Skills
Lesson 6. Distress Tolerance: Introduction to Crisis Survival Skills,  and ACCEPTS
Lesson 7. Distress Tolerance: Self-Soothe and IMPROVE the Moment
Lesson 8. Distress Tolerance: TIP Skills for Managing Extreme Emotions
Lesson 9. Distress Tolerance:  Pros and Cons
Lesson 10. Distress Tolerance: Introduction to Reality Acceptance Skills,  and Radical Acceptance
Lesson 11. Distress Tolerance: Turning the Mind and Willingness
Lesson 12. Distress Tolerance: Mindfulness of Current Thoughts (and Distress Tolerance Test)
Lesson 13. Core Mindfulness: Wise Mind
Lesson 14.  Core Mindfulness: “What” and “How” Skills
Lesson 15. Emotion Regulation: Goals of Emotion Regulation and Functions of Emotions
Lesson 16. Emotion Regulation: Describing Emotions
Lesson 17. Emotion Regulation: Check the Facts and Opposite Action
Lesson 18. Emotion Regulation: Problem Solving
Lesson 19. Emotion Regulation: The A of ABC PLEASE
Lesson 20. Emotion Regulation: The BC PLEASE of ABC PLEASE
Lesson 21. Emotion Regulation:The Wave Skill-- Mindfulness of Current Emotion
Lesson 22. Emotion Regulation: Emotion Regulation Test
Lesson 23.  Mindfulness: Wise Mind Review
Lesson 24.  Mindfulness: “What” and “How” Skills Review
Lesson 25. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Goals and Overview
Lesson 26. Interpersonal Effectiveness: DEAR MAN Skills
Lesson 27. Interpersonal Effectiveness: GIVE Skills
Lesson 28. Interpersonal Effectiveness: FAST Skills
Lesson 29. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Evaluating Options for How Intensely to Ask or Say No
Lesson 30. Interpersonal Effectiveness:  Interpersonal Effectiveness Test
III. Student Handouts

"The lessons and the accompanying handouts are impressive….As a practitioner who has used DBT with adolescents and adults as well as working with adolescents in groups for over 35 years, I highly recommend this manual.”
James J. Mazza, PhD, is Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Washington. Dr. Mazza’s research focuses on adolescent internalizing disorders, with a particular focus on suicidal behavior. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on how to identify youth who are at risk for suicidal behavior, as well as the development of social-emotional learning curricula to help all students learn emotion regulation skills. Dr. Mazza has worked with over 30 school districts and thousands of school personnel to develop and implement comprehensive suicide prevention strategies for adolescents. He is the co-owner of Mazza Consulting and Psychological Services, in Seattle, Washington.  


Elizabeth T. Dexter-Mazza, PhD, is the co-owner of Mazza Consulting and Psychological Services, where she provides comprehensive dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and skills-based coaching and support to family members and friends of individuals with emotion dysregulation, along with consultation and training to schools implementing DBT STEPS-A. She is also a trainer with Behavioral Tech, which provides DBT training to mental health professionals around the world. Dr. Dexter-Mazza completed her postdoctoral fellowship under the direction of Marsha M. Linehan at the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington, where she served as Clinical Director and a research therapist.


Alec L. Miller, PsyD, is Co-Founder and Clinical Director of Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants of Westchester and Manhattan. He is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For over 20 years, Dr. Miller has adapted and applied DBT with youth in outpatient, inpatient, and school settings, as well as with youth who have chronic medical illnesses. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has coauthored four books, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Suicidal Adolescents (with Jill H. Rathus and Marsha M. Linehan). Dr. Miller has trained thousands of clinicians and school personnel in DBT internationally.


Jill H. Rathus, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Long Island University-C. W. Post Campus, where she directs the DBT scientist-practitioner training program within the clinical psychology doctoral program. She is also Co-Director and Co-Founder of Cognitive Behavioral Associates, a group private practice in Great Neck, New York, specializing in DBT and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Her clinical and research interests include DBT, CBT, adolescent suicidality, intimate partner violence, anxiety disorders, and assessment, and she publishes widely in these areas. Dr. Rathus is coauthor (with Alec L. Miller) of DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents, and she trains mental health professionals internationally.


Heather E. Murphy, PhD, NCSP, maintains a private practice in Seattle, Washington, where she works with self-harming and suicidal adolescents. She is also adjunct faculty in Educational Psychology at the University of Washington. She received her doctorate in school psychology from the University of Washington, with training in DBT and suicide intervention skills. Dr. Murphy previously worked as a school psychologist in elementary, middle, and high schools for 7 years. Her research and clinical work focus on adolescent mental health, LGBT youth, and suicide intervention with adolescents.