The Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Training Program at the Columbia University School of Social Work was originally developed in collaboration with Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, the treatment developer, during her tenure at the Behavioral Research & Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington.  This program is, to date, the first and only DBT training program in a School of Social Work.  An extension of the experimental DBT training program offered at CUSSW from 2003-2009, our ongoing affiliation with the DBT training and research community provides additional curricular support and consultation in adapting DBT for the MS social work education base.

The program is 12 months long, from May of the first year, through graduation a year later. It is comprised of a rigorous academic curriculum, including two summer classes, paired with field-based DBT internship experiences. In addition to prescribed academic requirements, students participate in on-campus preparatory classes from May through August of the first summer.  Ten days of DBT Intensive Training are provided by Behavioral Tech, LLC. Five training days in August prior to the start of the academic year and five during the January holidays.  A 2.5 day workshop seminar in Suicide Risk Assessment and Management is also held during fall semester.

DBT internships are supervised by intensively-trained and certification-eligible master clinicians at agencies in outpatient, inpatient, school-based and prison settings. Students interested in becoming DBT Interns should register their interest early by attending informational sessions held in the fall of their first year at CSSW.  Application to the program includes a statement of personal interest, references and two interviews.  Evaluations are based on academic preparation, prior clinical experience with cognitive-behavioral interventions, and research interest.  Interviews are offered and students are informed of their selection into the DBT program prior to field placement selection in February.

Click here to read about program requirements.

Click here for a description of the application process.

Click here to learn more about the DBT internship sites.

For more information on the DBT Training Program & Lab as well as application process, please review the following webinars:

DBT Training Program Webinar Part 1: Treatment Overview (CC)

Join us for a Q & A info session about the training program and application process! Fall 2021 dates to be posted soon!


9 thoughts on “Training”

    1. During the year of the training program (May of the 1st year through graduation) students are required to be on campus for 2 classes during the 10-week summer session, a full week of intensive training in August and full-time during the academic year.

      Completing these requirements along with the demands of the Advanced Standing Program is not impossible, but it is an onerous load.

  1. Hello, I already have my MSW but am looking for DBT training. Is there an option to enroll just for this program and use my place of employment as my internship?

    1. Thanks for asking. Unfortunately, our training program is only open to MSW students who are matriculated at CSSW. See Behavioral Tech, LLC for public training opportunities.

  2. I have a masters degree in speech language pathology and am very interested in this program. I live in boston and have children. It appears that this really is an in person program. Are there any other options you can suggest as I am passionate about DBT and very convicted to pursue this program. Thank!

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