What's Included
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The DBT Informed Music Therapy Program

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

to learn DBT's practical life skills and how to apply them in your music therapy practice.

The training is limited to 10 participants per cohort.

Your first step is to apply for the program.

Early applicants will be given first shot to claim a seat in the fall 2024 training

Training starts with self-study foundational pieces in September.

Weekly in-depth skills study with music therapy applications and supervision begin October 21st.

Completely revolutionize client outcomes and gain the respect of treatment teams worldwide through the power of a Music Therapy Approach utilizing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)!

Help your music therapy clients gain skills to:  

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

As a Music Therapist...

You might find that when you use traditional music therapy practices with clients with impulsive behaviors and dysregulated emotions that you're not getting the results you do with your other clients, which leaves you feeling unsure about where to go next in your treatment and intervention planning to best support these clients, and wondering if you're doing it the right way. This experience can lead to:

  • judging yourself
  • being afraid that you don't have the knowledge or skills to help them regulate their emotions and behaviors
  • wondering if you can even achieve the next goal in their treatment plan
  • feeling isolated, burnt out, and frustrated

As a music therapist, you may feel that your education was lacking in verbal processing skills and strategies for managing emotions

When you reach out to other professionals on the treatment team, if you're like many music therapists, you are often not recognized as the true professional you are. Other disciplines seem to see you as merely fun entertainment.

Even if you work within a DBT based facility, and you know a little about DBT, you don’t quite know how to fit in as a music therapist. You want to provide the best services, so you seek new ideas and strategies to implement DBT with music therapy.

You feel like there are times that you need skills to cope through difficult situations yourself. You realize that your ability to help yourself directly impacts your effectiveness as a therapist.

Introducing the Spiegel Academy's

DBT Informed Music Therapy Training Program!

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 also can lead to a lot more respect and opportunity for you as the therapist!

It's a win for the patient, and a win for you.

What is DBT? 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a popular and effective evidence based therapy model and set of personal growth tools created by Dr. Marsha Linehan. DBT uses skills training to support people in replacing maladaptive behaviors with skillful behaviors, in responding to life rather than reacting, and can enhance the lives of all.  

What's Possible as a Trained DBT Informed Music Therapist

When you're working with clients with impulsive behaviors and dysregulated emotions, you know exactly what kind of support to give them to make lasting changes they can bring into the rest of their world.

You also have the skills to cope through difficult situations in your own life. We all know, being a music therapist can be stressful for so many reasons.

One of those reasons is how you are perceived by the treatment team you work with. Knowing a common language and demonstrating success with client outcomes allows others to more readily recognize you as a part of that team.

And...in completing this program you earned 100 CMTEs and an endorsement as a music therapist who has demonstrated competency in DBT informed practice!

"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 help your clients

"build a life worth living!"

Apply Now

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

The Power of Integrating DBT in your Music Therapy Practice

  • Integrating this entire toolbox of skills into your music therapy gives you the ability to help all of your patients/clients through any difficult situation in their life.
  • As a music therapist you can add a dimension to the way the clients learn, practice, and remember DBT's practical life skills so patients actually use the skills in their lives when they need them. 
  • 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 including schools, hospitals, mental health, addiction recovery, hospice, and more. 
  • 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, diysregulated 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 limited to 10 participants per cohort.

Your first step is to apply for the program.

Have you ever found yourself doing this?

Often when music therapists are first introduced to DBT they intend to learn more on their own, because they realize the impact it could have on their difficult clients. So they rush to get a variety of books, spend hours looking for research and interventions, and even more hours in trial and error trying to combine DBT with their 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 when clients are in crisis.
  • They don’t know how to communicate effectively with members of the treatment team using common DBT terminology and language, so collaboration is difficult.
  • Even if they are working inside of a DBT program and have awareness of skills, they are spending hours trying to figure out how to apply DBT with music therapy.

In the DBT Informed Music Therapy Training Program You Can Expect:

  • Gain a complete and thorough study of DBT skills with music therapy applications so that you'll have a repertoire of coping skills to support your clients and yourself.
  • 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, in the context of music therapy sessions or even as coleader in DBT skills training groups.
  • Have a year of professional supervision as you implement all you are learning with your clients, so you gain confidence in applying it through 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

"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?

Click here to meet the team!

Remember when you got frustrated with those difficult clients...

...you felt unsure of your abilities, ...

...you wished you had new skills to use, ...

...you tried to figure it out by yourself, ...

...you got burnt out and fatigued, ...

...and you felt alone with the struggle?

What if you never had to deal with any of this again because you could confidently apply this evidence based system to support your clients? Imagine the huge impact on your clients lives, your own life, and your business opportunities!

The DBT Informed Music Therapy Training Program

is limited to 10 participants per cohort.

Apply now to claim a seat.

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


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 and Kim Johnson LMHC, MT-BC are also intensively trained DBT clinicians.  

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 2-12 you'll attend weekly meetings (Monday nights) and complete monthly assignments for learning the skills and how to implement them through music therapy.

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

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 were published in the Journal of Music Therapy and can be viewed here. 

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.

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.

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

You get ALL of the following:

over $12,000 of value

for only a fraction of that amount!

This is a comprehensive year long training that will transform your life and give you unique professional qualifications. We've divided it into 3 parts, designed to take you step by step so you get the best experience to help you learn the skills and confidently apply them with music therapy.

Part 1:


Explore the basics for a confident start

with the following self-study courses.

DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced through Music Therapy with Deborah Spiegel MT-BC and Lindsey Landeck MT-BC

Value $250 (Included ) 

  • A music therapist's view of the skills studied in the first edition of Marsha Linehan's DBT Skills training manual.
  • Get many MT interventions from the self-study webinar to teach and reinforce DBT 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
Deborah  Spiegel MT-BC

Music and Mindfulness in Clinical Applications​  with Katie Down MT-BC

Value $200 (Included)

  • Create self awareness and manage symptoms with techniques you'll learn in this self-study webinar.
  • 8 credits

*Early birds only-

When you join before Sept 16, 2024 the following class will be included as an extra foundational level bonus:

Merging DBT Mindfulness and Music: A Template for a Transformative Six-Week Program​ with Melissa Gabel, MT-BC

Value $125

  • A full six-week program template to implement with clients who may benefit from mindfulness-based music interventions informed by Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
  • Music therapists will be educated on the seven main DBT mindfulness skills (Wise Mind, WHAT skills, and HOW skills),
  • Examples of a treatment plan and about 25 music interventions for each skill with potential adaptations is provided.
  • A non-musical assessment and evaluation tool will be provided with the program for the music therapist to implement at their own discretion.
  • Finally, music therapists be provided with the opportunity to adapt a mindfulness music intervention presented or create a completely new mindfulness music intervention that fits the needs of their specialized population and setting to submit as a homework assignment.
  • 6 credits

Part 2:

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

Deep Dive so DBT Skills Become a Foundation of your Treatment.

Value $3499 (Included ) 

October 21, 2024- March 17, 2025

The first 2 Monday nights of each month you'll meet with Suzanne Makary MT-BC for skills training (for 90 minutes at 5pm Pacific, 6 Mountain, 7 Central, 8 Eastern)

  • 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.

The 3rd week you'll meet with Ethan Lechner  LCSWA, PhD and Kim Johnson LMHC, MT-BC for supervision (for 60 minutes at 6pm Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, 9 Eastern)

  • 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.

The last Monday of each month you'll meet with Bailey Hinz MA, MT-BC, for DBT music therapy consultation group. (for 60 minutes at 5pm Pacific, 6 Mountain, 7 Central, 8 Eastern)

  • Brainstorm with other DBT music therapists to solve issues and answer questions
  • Personal and professional growth

Part 3:

Implementation & Support

Now that you know the skills, it's time to

Plan, Create, & Execute

to Take Your Skills to the Next Level

Value $3499 (Included)

April 21, 2025 -Sept 22, 2025

The first 2 Monday nights of each month you'll meet with Stephen King MT-BC and Kim Johnson LMHC,MT-BC for scenarios to solve with DBT skills and MT on the spot to facilitate utilizing what you have learned and putting it into practice. (for 60 minutes at 6pm Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central, 9 Eastern)

  • 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.

The 3rd week of each month you'll meet with Dr. Ethan Lechner LCSWA, PhD and Kim Johnson LMHC, MT-BC for supervision (for 60 minutes at 5pm Pacific, 6 Mountain, 7 Central, 8 Eastern)

  • Get supervision as you complete a case study assignment using 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.

  • Receive supervision as you apply the DBT material into your music therapy with your clients
  • Get your questions answered and learn how to apply the skills in your particular setting.

  • Learn other aspects of DBT beyond skills training.

  • 100 CMTE credits

The last Monday of each month you'll meet with Bailey Hinz MA, MT-BC, for DBT music therapy consultation group. (for 60 minutes at 4pm Pacific, 5 Mountain, 6 Central, 7 Eastern)

  • Brainstorm with other DBT music therapists to solve issues and answer questions
  • Personal and professional growth


DBT Credential

Get a Credential Endorsing you as a DBT Informed Music Therapist

so others Recognize your Skills

(Value Priceless) 

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

Bonus #1

One FREE year of Membership

in the DBT Music Therapy Resource Hub - Value over $1000

If you're wondering if you'll have time to come up with new interventions and session plans, when you join the training you'll get a year of access to this members only resource library full of ready-made music therapy session materials for each skill to help you SAVE TIME with session planning.

Bonus #2-

Supervised Group Practice - Value $1800- YOURS FREE

After you've done the deep dive and have studied and learned all of the DBT skills, now it will be time for supervised practice in deciding what skills to use in a given situation. Master the skills and build your confidence in creating on the spot music therapy applications for those skills.

Bonus #3-

Modified DBT Class - Value $ 700-YOURS FREE

The third bonus will help you meet the specific needs and abilities of clients with intellectual disabilities. This bonus is an additional 28 CMTE credit class which adapts DBT for Clients With Intellectual Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors 

Bonus #4-

2 FREE tickets to virtual retreat- Value $197-YOURS FREE

In this online retreat, you'll hear presentations from other DBT informed music therapists, that are full of new ideas and strategies for implementing DBT with music therapy for a variety of populations. Your chance to hear from experts and to meet each other in a live community event.

Bonus #5-

Online Community Feedback - Value over $1200

After you implement your interventions, you get to debrief them with our team, so you are continuously leveling up with each time you implement. You'll have access to community conversations and announcements- a place to interact with others in the program, get resources, and ask questions in our PRIVATE forum (which is only accessible to other group members.)

Value of All You Get in the DBT Program

1 year Training Program - 100 CMTEs

  • Part 1: Self study classes for basics for a confident start
  • Part 2: Deep dive into all things DBT. In-Depth DBT Skills Study with Music Therapy Applications and Supervision with a team of DBT experts so DBT skills become a foundation of your treatment
  • Part 3: Implementation and supervision with Linehan certified clinician Dr. Lauren Bonavitacola while you do a case study assignment and get personalized practice implementing what you have learned.
  • Finale: Earn an endorsement as a DBT Informed Music Therapist showing you have demonstrated competence


  • DBT Music Therapy Resource Hub- for session planning
  • Supervised Group Practice for being able to utilize skills from your newly grown toolkit with music therapy on demand
  • Modified DBT Class for your intellectually challenged clients
  • Free tickets to virtual retreat for new ideas and strategies on using DBT with various populations
  • Online community where you feel you belong
  • Intervention debriefs so you're always improving

Value of the training =



Value of the bonuses =



Enroll in yourself. Commit to yourself. Say yes to yourself, your clients, and this opportunity.

We are committed to providing ways that make it financially possible for you to come into the program if it’s a good fit for you, … so take the leap!

Take this entire program NOW for

monthly payments

or save with a single payment of $5,000

(save by paying in full)

Talk to Deborah about payment plan options to help you get started.


** Our commitment is to support music therapists in making a greater impact.

We are eager to collaborate with you to make your participation a reality. Apply now and let's connect.

Apply NOW- Let's Begin!

Note: 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 per cohort ***

Q- Is there a guarantee?

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 14 days 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!

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! 

Here's what to do now...  

Click the "Apply Here " button below to apply for the Fall program 2024.

  • We only take 10 participants per cohort, so complete your application now
  • We will then talk on the phone to answer any questions you have.
  • If you claim one of the 10 spots you can get started right away with the self-study classes- part 1 DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced through Music Therapy, and part 2 Mindfulness and Music in Clinical Practice so you can have them completed before our orientation meeting on October 21st.
  • *Early bird bonus- When you join before Sept 21, 2024 we will also throw in an extra bonus: a template for an entire 6 week mindfulness program using DBT mindfulness skills, complete with many interventions, to give you a strong DBT foundation and support your clients.
  • You can start attending the consultation group zoom meetings on the last Monday of each month right away, can consume and utilize the vast amount of content and interventions in the DBT Music Therapy Resource Hub, and you'll be invited to the next virtual retreat as well.

Orientation for part 3- In-depth Skills Study with Music Therapy Applications, is on zoom October 21st, 2024. This is where you'll meet the team and dive into the weekly zoom classes. 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 ...

Schedule a time on the calendar to chat with a member of my team, 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