DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced through Music Therapy (10 CMTEs, 8.5 LCAT contact hours)

10 CMTEs, 8.5 contact hours.

Payment options:

$92.00 / month for 3 month

What is DBT?  Why this course?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), is an effective evidence-based treatment model using skills training to “change behavioral, emotional, thinking, and interpersonal patterns associated with problems in living”. (Linehan 2015)

 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.  This class is the first step of the training we offer music therapists that will allow you to competently meet that need.

Skills for mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and  interpersonal effectiveness will be reviewed along with many music therapy interventions.  You will leave with tons of new interventions that you can implement right away with your clients.

Discover how music therapy and other allied disciplines can be used to  teach, anchor, and reinforce DBT skills.  Sharing of therapeutic (music therapy) interventions.  

Learning Objectives

1.Participants will be able to define the 4 modules of DBT and name a skill in each module.
2.Participants will be able to list a music therapy intervention for teaching or reinforcing one skill in each of the 4 DBT skills modules.
3.Participants will be able to identify at least 1 population DBT can be used with.
4.Participants will be able to name 1 way they can integrate music therapy with DBT skills in their professional setting.


 Review the skills in Marsha Linehan’s book:  Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder.   or  the new book  DBT Skills Training Manual.  DBT is used with a multitude of  populations, not just borderlines. Either of these texts are a must read because it offers an underlying basis for therapists to be familiar with the DBT Skills.

This is a self study class with Deborah Spiegel MT-BC and Lindsey Landeck MT-BC.


Deborah Spiegel is a DBT informed Music Therapist who was first introduced to DBT in 2001.  After spending almost 12 years working as the music therapist and a DBT skills group leader in a DBT program at the Colorado Mental Health Institute, she created a how to book for therapists and training programs for music therapists to learn how to integrate DBT into their practice.

She is author of the book Creative DBT Activities Using Music: Interventions for Enhancing Engagement and Effectiveness in Therapy (Jessica Kingsley 2020)  and CEO of the Spiegel Academy.


Lindsey Landeck is a music therapist  currently working in a psych hospital in Michigan, serving as co-therapist with her psychologist in their DBT skills groups.  LIndsey’s psychologist has noticed that the patients seem to pay attention more and retain more when music therapy is integrated into the skills groups.

They are involved in a research project to validate this!


What people are saying: 

I have greatly benefited from this course. As I explore my own reactions and understanding of these concepts, and translate this into safe, effective interventions, my confidence grows as related to my professional lamp. It was much needed! Very appreciative of this course, as well as the set-up of this course. I was able to create weekly goals to complete based on the module set up, and surprised myself in being able to finish 2 weeks early because I felt motivated to keep learning!
1 thing I will be taking away from this workshop and integrating this to my work is more direct use of interventions I have developed/learned to reinforce skills. Prior to this, I was using interventions and hoping my patients were able to connect the dots. But now I have terminology to use more direct teaching, in conjunction with providing needed stress relief as needed.

The course, “A Therapeutic Model for Practical Life Skills Reinforced Through Music Therapy” offers an efficient way to continue practicing music therapy while expanding immediately applicable ideas for music therapy use.” Hannah Nilsen
“I’m very inspired by this course. I think DBT is a wonderful source of therapeutic information – both for personal growth and for all kinds of groups. From the acronyms (DEAR MAN, GIVE,….etc) and the concepts (Wise mind combination between emotional and reasonable) and the many other processes, techniques and philosophies, I believe that I will be going forward implementing the material and concepts into my future sessions. Thank you Deborah! Great course, full of excellent videos and opportunities to share and read creative ideas on the forum.”  Miriam Hendeles
“In my hospital setting, I consistently find opportunities to utilize 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.
Having the flexibility to study on your own schedule, apply course content as it connects to your setting, and exchange ideas by posting assignments to the forum board for others to see at their convenience all make this course an ideal option for continuing education as a music therapist.” Denise Lee 


“I especially liked that we not only created new interventions, but looked at what we were already doing through the eyes of this new information, reformatting interventions I currently use into a DBT framework. That was a brilliant piece I thought, that was unique to this course. This really got my creative process working. ”  Renee Dundas


“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 

“This was a very good course for me. Each lesson had its own thought process that made it so applicable to all/most clients that we work with as music therapists. I will takeaway from this course a new appreciation for structuring my interventions and thinking about the skills and important details that relate to functional abilities of the clients I work with. The course was very well organized and I learned a lot. Even though I have practiced meditation and mindfulness, this gave me an understanding of applying it to the clients. I see myself integrating these skills easily into my practice because I will continue to review the skills and put them to good use on myself.  Even residents in memory care can learn new things and process more and become mindful! I will soon be applying all of this when I work with children/adolescents/teens and families! These are very good arrows to have in one’s quiver! Thank you Deborah!”  Cathleen Gempeler 


“I am always amazed an awed by just how creative our music therapy community is. I love hearing everyone’s thoughts and ideas about to bring DBT principles and teaching to their particular clients in such innovative ways. These are skill sets we can all benefit from and I love the fact that music therapists are empowering themselves, partly through you, Deborah, to recognize the potential they to reinforce DBT programs in their workplaces!  Tammy Pierce


To see more testimonials on this class, click here.
CBMT Domain areas:
IID3 Collaborate with other professionals and/or family, caregivers, and personal network to design interdisciplinary treatment programs.

IID10 Design experiences to generalize goals and objectives across settings, people, subjects, behaviors, or time.

IIIA2a-z Provide individualized music therapy experiences to address client’s

IIIA3a,c and 4ac Recognize how the following theoretical frameworks inform music therapy practice and Utilize the following music therapy approaches to inform: behavioral cognitive

VA6 Expand musicianship, leadership skills, and therapeutic effectiveness.



DBT: Practical Life Skills Reinforced Through Music Therapy is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 10 CMTEs-Continuing Music Therapy Education credits. The Spiegel Academy, CBMT Approved Provider #P-106,  maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria. 


Water & Stone, A Creative Arts Therapy PLLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists. #CAT-0017


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