The DBT Informed Music Therapy Program

... is a specialized CMTE training for a small group of participants

worth 100 CMTE credits!

The fall training starts on September 12th, 2022.

It is limited to 10 participants.

Your first step is to apply for the program.

Apply Now

I am about to share with you a Music Therapy Approach utilizing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that is completely revolutionizing client outcomes and gaining the respect of treatment teams worldwide!

Help your music therapy clients gain skills to:  

  • Get through Difficult Times
  • Regulate Emotions 
  • Control Impulsive Behaviors
  •  Communicate Effectively

If you ever...

As a music therapist, you might go about your day unsure about where to go next in your treatment and intervention planning to best support a client with impulsive behaviors and dysregulated emotions. In your efforts to support this client you're not sure if you're doing it the right way. You might be judging yourself or be afraid that you don't have the knowledge or skills to help them regulate their emotions and behaviors and achieve the next goal in their treatment plan. You may feel that your education could use more verbal processing skills and ways to deal with emotions.

If you're like many music therapists I know, you are not often recognized by your treatment team as the true professional you are. Other disciplines seem to see you as merely fun entertainment.

If you do happen to work in a DBT program, you don’t quite know how to fit in as a music therapist.

You feel like there are times that you need skills to cope through difficult situations yourself.

...then this message is just for you.

The Spiegel Academy's DBT Informed Music Therapy Program offers you a toolkit of skills that not only are massively effective for the patient...

... but can lead to a lot more respect and opportunity for the therapist!

It's a win/win.

Your patients experience a powerful, ground-breaking set of skills to help them cope through difficult times, regulate their emotions, make wiser behavioral choices, and improve their communication skills.

PLUS, you get to facilitate the process and receive the trust and respect you deserve!

As a Trained DBT Informed Music Therapist ...Imagine this:

Imagine what could be possible! When you're in those situations working with clients with impulsive behaviors and dysregulated emotions, you know exactly what kind of support to give them to make lasting changes.

You have the skills to cope through difficult situations in your own life. And you need them because being a music therapist can be stressful for so many reasons.

One of those reasons is how you are perceived by your treatment team. Knowing a common language and demonstrating success with client outcomes you are recognized as a part of that team. completing this program you earned 100 CMTEs!

"This DBT informed Music Therapist training has been profoundly beneficial both personally and professionally. My intention was to learn tools to use with my clients, which I have, and the supervision has been priceless. The bonus to me is being able to implement the skills myself and how it has improved my own life." 

Betsey Carle MT-BC​​ 

Join the movement as we combine DBT skills with music therapy to support those we serve to build a life worth living!

Peggy Tileston, Clinical Training Coordinator at Temple University in Philadelphia, has this to say about the training:

Working in a psych hospital I was interested in learning more about DBT. I read Deborah's book, and even brought her out to the East Coast for a 3 day workshop, and I realized that I needed more in-depth training.

So when the DBT informed Music Therapy Program opened up, I took the training.

Here are 4 reasons I'd like to encourage you to also take the training:

  • 1. Personal Integrity from going through the processes yourself
  • 2. Impressive level of clinical supervision as you work DBT into your practice
  • 3. Going through program with a cohort of peers, resourcing one another in a like- minded community
  • 4. CMTEs

What is DBT and how can knowing how to use it in your music therapy effectively support even your most challenging clients?

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), is an effective evidence-based treatment model utilizing  skills training in the areas of mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness to effect change.
  • Integrating these skills into your music therapy can support your patients/clients who are involved in a DBT program as well as those who are not.  
  • As a music therapist you can add a dimension to the way the clients learn, practice, and remember the skills. 
  • Originally known for its effectiveness in working with patients with borderline personality disorder, DBT has now been shown  to be beneficial for numerous populations and settings. 
  • DBT skills are useful in our own lives as well!

Imagine ...learning the secret to

...being able to articulate to your treatment team using common (DBT) terminology and language, being perceived as a professional peer, and easily collaborating with team members in providing treatment.  

...having a repertoire of effective coping skills to pull out of a hat on a moment’s notice...knowing you're providing an evidence based tried and true system you can adapt to your own clientele... having an effective toolkit that works with clients with impulsive behaviors, disregulated emotions, lack of coping skills, and/or poor interpersonal skills!

Gain effective tools to create a brighter future!

The DBT Informed Music Therapy Training Program is only open twice a year.

The next start date is September 12th, 2022.

It's limited to 10 participants at a time.

Your first step is to apply for the program.

Here's the mistake most people make:

What most people do when facing a client with impulsive behaviors and disregulated emotions, possibly even working in a DBT program with no specific training, is to get a variety of books, spend hours looking for research and interventions and even more hours in trial and error music therapy sessions. But for most people, that's not efficient or effective.  

  • They don’t have an evidence based tried and true system they can adapt to their own clientele  
  • They don’t have a repertoire of coping skills to pull out of a hat on a moment’s notice  
  • They don’t know how to articulate to their treatment team using DBT terminology and language to be seen as a professional peer and easily collaborating with team members in providing treatment

Expect these results from this training:

  • Gain a complete and thorough study of DBT skills with music therapy applications so that you'll have a repertoire of coping skills to pull out of a hat on a moment’s notice to support your clients
  • Learn an evidence based tried and true system that you can adapt to your own clientele and make a greater impact.
  • Be able to teach DBT skills, lead and co-lead DBT skills groups so that you have an additional skill set to help your clients get results.
  • Have professional supervision as you implement all you are learning with your clients, able to apply the material and make it functional for music therapy 
  • Become comfortable using the DBT terminology and collaborating with other clinicians​​ so that you can share ideas and strategies to improve client outcomes.
  • Be able to to communicate with related fields more effectively and plan groups in coordination with them within the structure of DBT so your skills are valued.
  •  Be able to effectively help patients you serve to manage crises and their own emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and actions to be more stable and avoid having to return to the hospital. 
  • Attract new clients and income by approaching and joining existing DBT programs, or by using DBT on your own in your private practice
  • Gain the educational essentials to maintain high standards of excellence in your professional practice
  • Feel confident in your role as a DBT informed Music Therapist so you know how to fit into a DBT milieu &/or how to utilize DBT in your own music therapy practice 
  • Know what the skills are so you know what steps to take when your clients present with a variety of issues and behaviors.
  • Know how to create effective music therapy interventions within the DBT framework and watch your clients learn and remember skills to help them in their lives.
  •  Effectively create and implement MT interventions to support and reinforce the DBT skills the patients are learning​​​​  
  •  Be able to present other professionals and those in charge with a credential from the Spiegel Academy with the designation of DBT informed Music Therapist that demonstrates a working knowledge of DBT

  • Earn 100 CMTE credits
Click Here to Apply Now

"This is a very well put together program and the instructors are impressively knowledgeable- at the top of their game."

I learned a new skill set that I had never learned before in school or anywhere. The DBT skills are very useful and applicable with all populations. Being able to have all the skills for mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness to integrate into my music therapy has helped me address behavior, emotion regulation and communication issues with my clients."

Rachael Williams MT-BC

Who Are the Experts Providing

DBT Informed Music Therapy Training?

Director & Founder

Deborah Spiegel MT-BC

HI. I was introduced to DBT in 2001 when working at the state hospital on a DBT team. I received training from Behavioral Tech and had 11 years of experience as a DBT skills group leader in my workplace. Now known as a leading expert in the field of DBT Informed Music Therapy, I've spoken, presented workshops, and delivered trainings on music therapy and DBT skills nationwide since 2009.

Director of The Spiegel Academy, author of Creative DBT Activities Using Music: Interventions for Enhancing Engagement and Effectiveness in Therapy, (with Lauren Bonavitacola and Suzanne Makary) I am passionate about supporting music therapists in integrating DBT into their work to expand the reach of our profession into this arena.

Since the time that I was first introduced to DBT, the amount of research on DBT and its effectiveness with various populations has exploded as has the popularity of its use. The need for trained music therapists in this field is growing.

Supervising Clinician

Lauren Bonavitacola, PsyD, MT-BC

... has been providing supervision and training for participants in our DBT Informed Music Therapy Program since 2012.

Dr. Bonavitacola is a psychologist, DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Certified Clinician™, and board-certified music therapist and has worked for many years for Cognitive & Behavioral Consultants of Westchester and Manhattan (CBC), an outpatient CBT- and DBT-based treatment, training, and consultation center. She was the Director of Trauma-Focused Treatment Programs at CBC, working with adolescents, adults, couples, families, and schools. She now has her own practice.

Dr. Bonavitacola has expertise and specialized training in the delivery of evidence-based treatments for anxiety, mood, substance use, eating, and personality disorders across the lifespan. She specializes in the implementation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and associated conditions, as well as CBT for anxiety and mood disorders, particularly Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in adolescents and adults.

Skills Group Facilitator

Suzanne Makary, MT-BC a Board- Certified Music Therapist who has spent her career serving adults with mental health challenges. She completed her internship in 1997 at Allentown State Hospital. Since that opportunity, Suzanne has worked with an interdisciplinary team in the Partial Hospitalization setting. 

Throughout her journey as a professional, Suzanne designs and leads daily music therapy groups to assist in learning and reaching wellness goals with her clients. She found Linehan’s work inspiring and used concepts to help frame her work. 

In 2017, Suzanne completed the yearlong “DBT Informed Music Therapy” Program through The Spiegel Academy. As a DBT-Informed music therapist, Suzanne has created a curriculum for the Innovations Partial Hospital Program at St. Luke’s University Health Network focused on teaching DBT skills daily. Since 2020, Suzanne now also facilitates a DBT skills group for participants of the DBT Informed Music Therapy program.

Facilitating DBT Clinicians

Ethan Lechner LCSWA, PhD an intensively trained DBT therapist, working with Guilford Counseling, PLLC, in Greensboro, NC. He holds a Masters of Social Work and a PhD in Musicology and is also a teacher of Buddhist meditation.

Ethan has experience working with clients recovering from trauma and experiencing loss and health changes. In his first years of practice, he worked primarily with the elderly in various settings, and now works with clients of various ages and backgrounds. He loves the depth and adaptability of the DBT skills kit. In his therapy practice he is committed to meeting clients in a deeply person-centered, collaborative process.

Bailey Hinz, MA, MT-BC a Board Certified Music Therapist, currently furthering her education in Social Work.

While earning a bachelor’s degree in music from North Central College, she spent summers as a camp counselor, an experience which inspired her to further pursue work in a helping profession. 

In 2013, Bailey received her master’s degree in music therapy from Colorado State University; her graduate thesis was on the utilization of therapeutic music for young women with negative body perception and disordered eating.

Bailey has had the opportunity to work with a variety of populations including mental health, at risk youth, substance abuse, veterans’ needs, hospice, autism spectrum, developmental disability, and diseases of aging. Her greatest passion and life’s purpose, however, lies in mental/ behavioral health.

She loves incorporating music and other creative arts to affect meaningful change in the lives of individuals she serves. 

To continue her growth as a clinician, Bailey received her designation as a DBT informed Music Therapist through Behavioral Tech and The Spiegel Academy in 2017.

The DBT Informed Music Therapy Training Program

is only open twice a year.

The next start date is September 12th, 2022.

We only accept 10 participants at a time.

Apply now to claim a seat.

Apply Now

And what happens if you just keep doing what you’ve been doing?  

You get frustrated with those difficult clients... feel unsure of your abilities, ... wish you had new skills to use, ... try to figure it out by yourself, ... get burnt out and fatigued, ...

...and you feel alone with the struggle.

It doesn't have to be this way!

The DBT Informed Music Therapy Program is designed to give you the skillset and support you need to confidently apply an evidence based system to support your clients, and see it having an impact.

The DBT Informed Music Therapy Training Program is only open twice a year.

The next start date is September 12th, 2022.

It is limited to 10 participants at a time.

Apply now to claim a seat.

Click Here to Apply

This DBT Informed Music Therapy Program Worked for These People, and It Will Work for You Too

"The DBT Informed Music Therapy Program I completed at the Spiegel Academy is the best music therapy training I have ever taken..."

"I not only earned 100 CMTEs in a year, for a very comparable price I might add, but I now also have a credential and an effective evidence based skillset to use with a wide variety of populations."

Stephen King MT-BC

"I indeed learned common language to use so that I am better able to communicate with other therapists ." 

 Diana Gross MT-BC

"Since taking the training from The Spiegel Academy, I developed a DBT skills group with the psychologist. We did research to show the effectiveness of combining music therapy with traditional skills training. "

 Lindsey Landeck MT-BC

"I am very excited to see the partnership of DBT skills and MT interventions emerge as what is sure to be a frontrunner in best practices of care."

​Kirsten Sorensen, MT-BC

What You'll Get when you enroll in the DBT Informed Music Therapy Program


Explore the basics.

DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced through Music Therapy

  • A music therapist's view of the skills in the first edition of Marsha Linehan's DBT Skills training manual.
  • Many MT interventions to teach and reinforce those skills that you can use with your clients right away.
  • Begin to learn the language of DBT so you can communicate better with a DBT team
  • 10 credits ( Value $250) 



Music and Mindfulness in Clinical Applications​ 

  • Learn music therapy mindfulness interventions for creating self awareness and for symptom management. 
  • 8 credits ( Value $200)


Deep Dive

In-Depth DBT Skills Study with Music Therapy Applications and Supervision

  • Explore deeply all the DBT material, starting with the 2nd edition DBT Skills Training Manual so you really understand each skill.
  • Experience a DBT Skills Study Group yourself as a participant and learn how to lead your own DBT skills groups.
  • Practice using DBT skills in your own life and become a role model for those around you.
  • Know how to create effective music therapy interventions within the DBT framework
  • Receive supervision as you apply the DBT material into your music therapy with your clients so you can get your questions answered and learn how to apply the skills in your particular setting.
  • 82 credits ( Value $3499) 


Plan, Create, & Execute

  • After completing all of the above requirements, you will demonstrate a working knowledge of DBT Informed MT by completing a case study assignment write up of DBT informed music therapy practices with a client of your choice.
  • Get support in learning to use DBT informed MT to solve specific issues with your particular clients.
  • Learn new ideas and strategies as you brainstorm with your group
  • Have a repertoire of coping skills to pull out of a hat on a moment’s notice to support your clients  
  • Leave with a working knowledge of DBT Informed MT to enhance your professional skills.



  • Professional development and uplevel to your career
  • Affirms completion of all requirements
  • Endorses you as a DBT Informed Music Therapist
  • (Value Priceless) 

Reserve your spot!

This program is limited to a maximum of 10 people to keep it personal. APPLY to reserve one of the 10 spots now.

Enroll in the program that begins in September 2022...

... and you'll get these BONUSES

once you are approved for one of the seats!

Bonus #1 - DBT in Music Therapy Resource Hub Membership

If you're wondering if you'll have time to come up with new interventions and session plans, we decided to give you a year of FREE access to the DBT in Music Therapy Resource Hub. You'll have plug and play examples of music therapy sessions for each of the DBT skills to help you SAVE TIME with session planning. Here's what's included in the membership:

  • Get a full library of DBT skills and music therapy interventions to help you plan sessions
  • Ready-made music therapy session materials for each skill that you can use with clients.
  • Monthly check-ins to keep you growing
  • Monthly consultation group for questions and use of skills
  • Community of like minded professional music therapists using DBT in their lives and practice where you can feel a sense of belonging
  • Private forum where you can ask questions freely in a safe and supportive place in-between live meetings, and for intervention sharing, communication, and community
  • 12 month membership as a FREE Bonus!
  • Value over $1000. Normally $47/month. Yours FREE.

Bonus #2- Small Group Practice

After you have studied the skills, you'll be ready to practice putting them into practice on the spot in a variety of scenarios.

  • We created this bonus to help you with this, by giving you extra supervision meetings with our team while you and a small group of peers practice putting the skills into play using music therapy in a variety of mock situations. This allows you to practice in real time your skillsets, and get feedback from our team. This will help you really master the skills and build your confidence in creating on the spot music therapy applications for those skills.
  • Value $1800- Included free (Stephen facilitates this along with Deborah. To work directly with Stephen, he would charge you $50/hour; Deborah $100/hour)

Bonus #3- Modified DBT Class

If you're working with clients with intellectual disabilities and challenges, you want to meet their specific needs and abilities, so we are including this bonus, which is a study of Julie Brown's book The Emotion Regulation Skills System (Adapted DBT) for Clients With Intellectual Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors 

  • 28 credits  
  • Value $ 700 but yours FREE

Bonus #4- FREE ticket to our virtual retreat

Everyone who joins our training works with a different population of clients. You will learn how to modify to fit your situation. You'll get to bounce ideas off of others in our private forum, (bonus 5 below, ) and,... the online retreat, you'll hear presentations full of new ideas and strategies for modifying DBT and how to implement with music therapy for a variety of populations, including :

  • youth (teens, younger children, schools)
  • for virtual sessions
  • cognitively challenged or developmental delays
  • hospice
  • and more to be announced
  • Value $197 - yours FREE

Bonus #5- Private group forum for community conversations, announcements, and debriefs

After you implement your interventions, you get to debrief them with our team, so you are continuously leveling up with each time you implement.

Don't worry,... if you don't feel comfortable sharing personal questions and intervention experiences on a Facebook, group, we get it. We created a forum which is safe from prying eyes and is hosted on mighty networks. The only people with access are those who are part of this training.

Comfortably share interventions, interact with others, get resources and announcements, and ask questions in our PRIVATE forum, which is not on Facebook.

  • DBT supervising team input on your interventions and questions are valued at $1200 (yes, I pay them each $50-300 per month to be there for you in this way.)
Apply NOW- Click  Here

Limited to 10 participants


We've got A's for your Q's

Q-Are any of you certified by DBT-LBC?

Yes, Lauren Bonavitacola, PsyD, MT-BC, is a psychologist, DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Certified Clinician™, and board-certified music therapist. Ethan Lechner LCSWA, PhD is also an intensively trained DBT clinician.  

Q- Will I be able to run DBT skills groups as a result of this training?

The multiple layers of this program give you the ground work to learn, understand, and apply DBT skills in your practice. The curriculum is designed to delve into DBT skills straight from Linehan’s work through independent reading, working the skills step by step to deepen ways to understand, practice verbiage to teach them, explore personal use in a skills-training group like setting, and practice application as a music therapist. Supervision rounds out the training over several months to solidify and strengthen confidence in teaching DBT skills in your music therapy practice in meaningful application.

Q-How much time will it take?

About 6-8 hours a month.

The first month is for completing the self-study classes.

Month 2-6 the schedule is tightly planned with weekly meetings (Monday nights) and monthly assignments for learning the skills and how to implement them through music therapy.

For the following 6 months there is more flexibility in your schedule to complete your case report and attend monthly supervision meetings with Dr. Bonavitacola.  Also during this second half of the year, you can attend the bonus breakout sessions for your group to practice choosing skills for certain circumstances and how you would use music therapy to implement the skills. You can attend the monthly DBT consultation group for music therapists for deepening your applications of the skills.

Q-Is there any research on DBT and music therapy?

Lauren Bonavitacola wrote about research in the introduction to the book Creative DBT Activities Using Music: Interventions for Enhancing Engagement and Effectiveness in Therapy. You can read what she wrote here.

In a recent study completed at Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital, a music therapist and a psychologist compared traditional DBT skills groups with skills training that included music therapy.  The results on client outcomes were favorable for music.  The results will be released in the Journal of Music Therapy.  Until then all the details can’t be released.

Q-Does DBT only apply to borderline personality disorder?

No. DBT has been shown to be effective with a wide range of diagnosis and settings including but not limited to schools, prisons, addiction recovery, and mental health. PLUS people use DBT skills with children, adults, adolescents, seniors, in hospice, with hospital staff, for wellness, for self development, and with a variety of abilities.

DBT works for many different populations. See what these music therapists say about their experiences.

"I was burnt out, not really knowing what direction to go with the kids.

Not having any contact with other music therapists at all I was at a loss so I really appreciated talking to people in person, asking questions, bringing situations to the group for input, and hearing everyone's advice helped me a lot.

Bringing it back to the kids, and using it on myself has helped a lot with difficulties in sessions. This is definitely something they need and I was able to adapt it like I adapt anything I do with them."

Chelsea Josephson MT-BC

MT in Residential Treatment for Children with Cognitive Delays & Challenging Behaviors

" I'm grateful for having to be accountable... on a personal level, to do work I needed to do helped me feel in integrity.

And on a professional level, I loved the opportunity to work with and collaborate with DBT skills trainers and try out different ways to be using music with the skills."

Peggy Tileston MT-BC

MT Clinical Training Coordinator, Temple University

"This training refreshed me with a lot of new ideas, a new direction, and a good understanding.

I really appreciated not just reading about it, but the videos and the live feedback."

It was very validating because sometimes being the only music therapist you feel on an island by yourself."

Suzanne Makary MT-BC

Adult Acute Mental Health Partial Hospitalization Program 

"I LOVE DBT skills. They are helpful for anybody on so many levels.

This program really helped me be reminded what the skills are and what they mean and many ways to use them with music.

It helped me expand my thinking and my creativity."

 Victoria Mierlak MT-BC

Adolescent Residential Care: Mental Health w/ Criminal Charges

Q-Is this worth it for me?

Having this skillset is a really important way to expand the way you can help your clients. When you invest in yourself its going to apply to not only to any clinical work that you do but to help you in your own life. You can be a role model for people in your life and watch the impact you make.

Q- How much is it?


Take this entire program NOW for only $2997

 or $297/month for 12 months.

(for 100 CMTEs, specialized training, and individual attention!)

There is an additional investment for the following Course Materials (books) which are not included in registration fees:

*Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder  

*DBT® Skills Training Manual, Second Edition  

*DBT Worksheets and Handouts

Creative DBT Activities Using Music: Interventions for Enhancing Engagement and Effectiveness in Therapy

* = Required

*** This program is for clinicians who already hold a credential

as a Board Certified Music Therapist and is limited to 10 participants ***

Hundreds of people like you have invested in our DBT Informed MT classes since 2011. We know that if you enroll and participate in this entire program, and apply yourself, you will be thrilled with the results. If you find that this program doesn’t feel like a good fit for you, you have 48 hours after the first day of starting the first class to get 100% of your money back. After that time, you will be able to transfer to any other classes of your choice of the same credit value from our catalog. No hassle.  

You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain!

Stand out

in your field!

It's Decision Time!

You have a choice to make-

You can either continue your music therapy work as it is and WONDER if there's something more you can do for your clients.

Or, you can learn new skillsets that are going to help your CLIENTS regulate their emotions and fine tune their lives, and also help YOU feel more competent, have skills for enhancing your own life, AND PROFESSIONALLY be recognized by other disciplines, grow your stream of clients and income, and expand your impact.

Take a new action, and get a new result. 

Take the leap...


... jump in...

... and join the movement as we combine DBT Skills with music therapy to support those we serve to build a life worth living! 

What do you really want for yourself? Your clients? Your business?

Here's what to do now...  

Click the "Apply Here " button below to apply for the Fall program 2022.

  • We only take 10 participants, so put your name on the list now.
  • We will then talk on the phone to answer any questions you have.
  • When you're selected as one of the 10 you can get started right away with the self study classes! Orientation is September 19th for the live (virtual) component and you'll want to have the self study work completed prior to that.
Apply Here

Not sure? Still on the fence? Want to learn more but...

Schedule a time on my calendar and we can decide together what your next best step is on your DBT in MT journey.

I look forward to meeting you!

Deborah Spiegel

Deborah  Spiegel MT-BC