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Integrating DBT Skills
into Your Music Therapy Practice
for Effective Results


  • What is DBT anyway?
  • Help clients reduce impulsive behaviors with mindfulness skills
  • Music therapy ideas for you

Video 2

Video 3


To get CMTE credit for this workshop:

  1. Type your answers to any questions asked in the presentation into the comment section below.
  2. Complete all three parts of the workshop.
  3. Request a proof of attendance certificate by clicking the link under video 3
  4. Submit to CBMT

Download the workbook below the video before you watch it, so you can take notes.

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These former DBT Informed Music Therapy Program participants each work in a totally different setting . 

Listen to these short video clips  and read below how using DBT in their music therapy practice has worked for them.

Suzanne a year later

Suzanne Makary- MT in

Adult Acute Mental Health

Partial Hospitalization


Peggy Tileston-

MT Professor 

Betsey Carsle-

MT w/ Adults &


in Acute Inpatient

Psych Hospital

Victoria Mierlak- MT in

Adolescent Residential

Care: Mental Health w/

Criminal Charges

Chelsea Josephson-

MT  in Residential Treatment

for  Children with

Cognitive Delays &

Challenging Behaviors


I work at a medical center that has a DBT team in their Women’s Health Clinic. I am interested in becoming a part of this team and was not sure if DBT was good for me. I enjoy learning new skills as well.  I learned ways to incorporate my Music Therapy skills and DBT skills to make creative interventions. I will be able to use these interventions and more with Men and Women Veterans with trauma. I will also be looking into being a part of the DBT team at our medical center. I enjoyed the format of the course and the interaction with other Music Therapists. I also enjoyed the new knowledge that I gained. 

Jillian Thompson


DBT is the primary method used with the clients I work with. I wanted to be able to reinforce what the clients are learning in their primary counseling sessions. I got many ideas for interventions to use in my groups and with my individual clients. I work with clients that are trauma survivors, have substance abuse issues and client’s that are juvenile sex offenders. I feel that the skills learned in this course will be very valuable with these clients. The course was very informative and presented information that is immediately accessible and usable. 

Neil Richardson


What drew me to this course was that I wanted to learn a new skill set that I could bring to the students that I work with. I will use what was presented (the DBT modules) in my music therapy groups. DBT will also enhance what our school already has in place in our day treatment setting for emotionally impaired students (Restorative Circles, Positive Behavior Intervention Support, and CHAMPS classroom management. What was most useful to my practice is that I will be able to incorporate the DBT skills at my workplace with ease.

Richard Cross


“In my hospital setting, I consistently find opportunities to utilize DBT skills to assist in emotion regulation and distress tolerance for patients as is covered with specific details and ideas in this course. Mindfulness practices and interpersonal effectiveness skills are inherent in our own daily lives both personally and professionally. I was able to share course content with colleagues at the hospital to connect with team goals in the recent trending Trauma Informed Care philosophy for medical settings.”

Denise Lee


Having taken both the The Spiegel Academy’s Introductory and Intensive DBT informed MT trainings, I’ve found them to be exciting and practical. By pairing the skills of the traditional DBT modules with Music Therapy interventions, I have been better able to meet my clients where they are at and provide skills for them to move to a better place. Music Therapy is able to provide a bridge for teaching skills to those hard-to-reach clients in creative ways. After working in health care for over 10 years, 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. Both DBT and Music Therapy are established practices that complement one another well, moving practice to a new level.

Kirsten D Sorensen


This course will help me utilize DBT skills in my area of work, having a ‘common language’ with other professionals.  I liked that the self-study aspect was combined with a “live” course so that discussion still took place and I was able to experience this topic thought/with other music therapists. 

Lori De Rea


I work in a facility where DBT is the form of therapy used for all patients. I found myself wanting to learn more about DBT and how I can help my patients better understand how they can use DBT.  I can use my deeper knowledge of DBT to make sure each music therapy intervention I present to my patients will reinforce their DBT skills. I appreciate the clearness with which the material was presented and the self-paced option. 

Katherine E. Noel


I have worked in mental health for most of my music therapy career and have been exposed to DBT used with Borderline Patients. In my work I have wondered how DBT skills can be applied to music therapy (or vice versa) but have never really been able to do so in my groups. Since DBT is used in most mental health settings, it seems to pay to know how to combine the two. Much of what was presented can be directly applied/is directly applicable. I also learned how many, if not all, music therapy interventions (especially ones I often use) can support/reinforce DBT skills.  The material is relevant and useful.  There was a nice balance of theory/information presented and examples, suggestions, ideas that can be used immediately in the workplace.

 Yvonne Quilop

unnamed (3)

“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


Before taking this course I felt as though I lacked creativity in delivering DBT skills to clients. Now I can use all of the experiential ways that were presented to help individuals learn the skills (which I feel are foundational and necessary). 

Martha McCrory


“I loved the intervention sharing videos. Because they all worked with different populations I could get a better idea of how to generalize how to teach and use the skills. I’m also glad for the resources. At present I work mostly with young children so am interested in the Skills for individuals with cognitive disabilities.  I also see how I need to practice some of the skills myself.”

Jennifer Buehler


I liked that the self-study aspect was combined with a “live” course so that discussion still took place and I was able to experience this topic thought/with other music therapists.

Lori De Rea


I have an even bigger toolkit now, and more importantly I know know how to talk about the skills, and translate them into what we are doing within our music therapy interventions.I think I will sound more confident and be more on board with the entire treatment team. The course content was great- really good information.

Elizabeth La Combe


I was able to modify some current music therapy interventions I already used to include more DBT related terminology and concepts. I learned how to apply music therapy techniques for each of the DBT skill sets so I can more effectively help my patients. 

Andrea Nuthak


I had been feeling stuck with CBT approaches as my clients continued to become self-critical, judgemental as they found themselves not making progress. One particular client reported feeling anxious and nervous about his homework being checked each time when he attends therapy, which increased his avoidance and fear of setting goals for himself, which he perceived as setting himself up to another failure. I wanted to learn more about how to integrate mindfulness and acceptance through DBT work. I learned a theoretical foundation of DBT principles, many techniques that can be useful in a variety of settings, and gained motivation to continue working on my own development as a person and a therapist by practicing mindfulness and acceptance skills. I liked discussion and presentations of my own interventions, which helped me apply the theoretical foundation of DBT to practical work settings by creating and sharing the interventions that are based on these principles. I liked many ideas for interventions that were shared by the host and the other participant. 

Jungrim Moon


“I indeed learned common language to use so that I am better able to communicate with other therapists who are working with the same clients, and also so that I can help the clients begin to understand a language they can use to better express their emotions to facilitate improved emotion regulation. I will be able to now directly implement DBT Skills & language into working 1:1 with clients, and also while working with other therapists at my facility who are trained in DBT. .”  Diana Gross 


The discussions and handouts give me more to think about when writing, teaching, and leading interventions. These skills are useful to everyone, and I found them useful in my personal life as well. It’s very easy to forget to use the skills unless your practice them. I intend to do more of that for my own well being, and hopefully, for they who come to me for help. God bless!”

Tracy Jude Walker

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