Merging DBT Mindfulness and Music: Template for A Transformative Six-Week Program (5 CMTEs)

Self-study. This course will provide you with a full six-week program template using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) mindfulness skills with music therapy interventions that you can implement now!. 5 CMTE credits

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Presented by Melissa Gabel, MT-BC

Why DBT mindfulness?

There are several benefits to incorporating Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) mindfulness skills into music therapy interventions for both music therapists and their clients. Here are a few:

  1. Enhanced self-awareness: DBT mindfulness skills can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts, emotions, impulses and behaviors. Through self awareness clients can make wiser choices- acting rather than reacting.
  2. Improved emotion regulation: DBT mindfulness skills help individuals regulate their emotions by teaching them to observe and describe their thoughts and feelings without judgment.  By learning DBT mindfulness skills, music therapists and their clients can work together to better understand and regulate emotions in the therapeutic context.
  3. Increased attention and focus: Mindfulness practices are known to improve attention and focus. By incorporating DBT mindfulness skills into music therapy interventions, music therapists can help clients improve their ability to focus and stay present in the moment.

Overall, incorporating DBT mindfulness skills into music therapy interventions can be highly beneficial for both music therapists and their clients. By working together to teach and strengthen these skills, music therapists can help their clients improve their emotional regulation, attention and focus, self-awareness, and coping skills.

What you learn

Learn the seven main DBT mindfulness skills (Wise Mind, WHAT skills, and HOW skills)

Get examples of a treatment plan and about 25 music interventions for each skill with potential adaptations.

A non-musical assessment and evaluation tool will be provided with the program for the music therapist to implement at your own discretion.

Finally, you will adapt a mindfulness music intervention presented or create a completely new mindfulness music intervention that fits the needs of your specialized population and setting to submit as a homework assignment.

Outline of Recordings:​

This course will be a total of 227 minutes long. 227 minutes of prerecorded verbal instruction will take place, and then course participants will be assigned a homework assignment that will take approximately 50 minutes to complete and submit after the course is presented.

Learning Objectives:​

Participants will be able to:

1. Summarize the seven main DBT mindfulness skills outlined in the DBT Skills Training Manual (wise mind, WHAT skills, and HOW skills)
2. Create a mindfulness-based treatment plan which outlines relevant goals and objectives
3. Design and plan music interventions for each DBT mindfulness skill
4. Apply DBT-informed music interventions in a clinical setting
5. Adapt a DBT-informed music intervention to fit their individual client/group needs
6. Assess client progress using non-musical evaluation tools (Day-to-Day Experiences Self-Evaluation, DBT skills worksheets, etc.)

CBMT Domain Areas:​

III.A.4: Utilize the following music therapy approaches to inform clinical practice: a. behavioral. b. community music therapy. c. culture-centered. d. developmental. e. health and wellness. f. humanistic. g. improvisational. h. medical. i. neurological. j. psychodynamic

II.D.6: Establish client goals and objectives that are: a. specific. b. measurable. c. achievable. d. realistic. e. time limited.

II.D.13: Structure and organize music therapy experiences within each session to create therapeutic contour (e.g., transitions, pacing, sequencing, energy level, intensity)

III.A.5.g: improvise using instruments, voice, or movement
III.A.5.l: utilize song and lyric analysis
III.A.5.m: utilize songwriting
III.A.5.r: employ active listening
III.A.5.s: employ mindfulness techniques with music
III.A.5.aa: provide receptive music experiences

II.D.10: Design experiences to generalize goals and objectives across settings, people, subjects, behaviors, or time

II.B.7: Select musical and/or non-musical assessment tools and procedures to reflect purpose of assessment
II.D.7: Determine a data collection system appropriate for the treatment goals and objectives.
III.B.1: Monitor client’s progress by using the selected data collection system
IV.A.6: Analyze all available data to determine effectiveness of therapy


Merging DBT Mindfulness and Music: A Transformative Six-Week Program (5 CMTEs) is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 5 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.


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