Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Skills Group

DBT Skills Group

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was established by Marsha Linehan to help people who deal with distressing emotions and experiences by using self-destructive behaviours such as self-harm, substance misuse and eating disorders.


DBT is an effective, evidence-based treatment that can be especially helpful for any of the following difficulties:

  • Feeling depressed and/or anxious a lot
  • Feeling out of control
  • Experiencing a chaotic, painful life
  • Finding it difficult to build trust and maintain relationships with others
  • Deliberately harming yourself to change the way that you feel
  • Frequently feeling suicidal
  • Feeling intense emotional pain and a sense of emptiness
  • Feeling uncomfortable in a close relationship, or that people are trying to control you
  • Struggling to cope when people leave you
  • Feeling isolated and lonely when in your own company
  • Feeling moody and irritable a lot

The overall goal of DBT skills training is to help you increase your resilience and build a life worth living. While self-destructive behaviours may provide some relief in the short-term, they tend to cause us even deeper emotional pain longer term. 


During these groups, you will learn four relevant skills for effectively coping with painful experiences


Mindfulness is about being present in the moment. It’s a skill that has become very popular in recent years as its practice greatly improves our capacity to tolerate painful emotions and physical sensations. Mindfulness has been widely applied and is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, depression, anxiety, eating difficulties, substance misuse and many other conditions.


In this module, you will learn how to notice your thoughts and feelings without judgement and how to develop ‘beginner’s mind’. One of the great benefits of mindfulness is that it improves our capacity for self-observation so that we can step back from triggering events, instead of reacting impulsively. The module will involve experiential exercises that help you develop a range of ways to practice mindfulness, both formally and informally.

Emotional regulation focuses on helping you understand your feelings and responses to triggering events, alongside teaching you how to manage them more effectively. This becomes possible through learning ways to both accept and notice painful feelings mindfully but also working towards changing your emotional responses to events through effective action.


In this module, you will learn the different functions our feelings have in everyday life and in our relationships. You will also learn how to build positive emotions and how to reduce negative emotions by acting opposite to your urges.

Distress tolerance teaches you crisis survival skills that you can use when you feel intensely triggered by events in your life. This set of skills is taught as an alternative to engaging in self destructive behaviours in order to manage difficult feelings. Whilst these skills cannot change the difficult situations you might find yourself in, they can help you survive, despite the negative feelings.


In this module, you will learn how to distract yourself, improve the moment, increase your awareness and practice radical acceptance.

Interpersonal effectiveness skills teach you how to be assertive in everyday situations, at work and in close relationships. Some people can find it hard to know when they might be expressing their needs in ways that others find aggressive or hostile. On the other hand, others can find it challenging to express what they need or feel at all. This set of skills is about helping you find a balance between asking for an objective to be met whilst maintaining a good relationship with others and also preserving your self-respect.


In this module, you will learn assertiveness skills alongside skills that will help maintain good relationships and become better at negotiating your needs and wants with other people. You will practice these skills in the group through the use of role play exercises.

Frequently asked questions

You are likely to be offered a place in a DBT skills group if either the person assessing you or your ongoing psychologist believes that you would benefit from this additional input. Our groups are a great space for learning important coping skills and they can also offer a sense of connection and belonging as you get to connect with other people who may be struggling with the same types of difficulties.
Our mindfulness group is relatively short-term and will equip you with mindfulness skills you can practice in everyday life. The DBT skills group involves both more modules and skills and it is better suited to you if the nature of your difficulties means that you would benefit from a range of different skills – rather than just mindfulness – to help you manage your emotions.
The DBT skills group consists of 4 modules which are delivered in 7 week blocks. Each module costs £840 and the full course will for roughly 6 – 9 months.

Related Videos

Start your journey


Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.