DBT and Chronic Pain: A Dialectical Workshop on Treating Sensory Dysregulation

March 15th, 2024
Training: 8:30am to 4:00pm PT
11:30am to 7:00pm ET

Presented via Zoom Video Communications

Presented by
Deborah Barrett, PhD, LCSW


Registration has closed.


This workshop focuses on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for chronic pain. DBT is a robust transdiagnostic approach for disorders of emotional dysregulation, but its evidence base is less well developed than approaches like CBT and ACT for chronic pain. Deborah Barrett, PhD will highlight the value of DBT for chronic physical pain, sharing current evidence on DBT in the treatment of chronic pain and synthesizing pain management content from other third wave CBT approaches through a dialectical lens. Participants will explore chronic pain as a case of sensory dysregulation, with unique features and overlaps with emotional dysregulation. Participants also will build on and adapt what they may already know about DBT and emotion dysregulation to approach, conceptualize, and treat individuals who are suffering from chronic sensory dysregulation, regardless of its root cause.


Upon completion of this one-day workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize current evidence on DBT and chronic pain, including explicit and related studies. 

  2. Discuss rationale and theoretical grounding for a dialectical approach to therapeutic work with individuals with chronic pain.

  3. Apply the pain gate control theory dialectically with clients in therapeutic practice.  

  4. Articulate the role of validation and invalidation in the experience and treatment of people with chronic pain.   

  5. Explain the significance of acceptance and change approaches to chronic pain/sensory dysregulation.   

  6. Adapt at least 1 DBT skill from each DBT module for therapeutic work with individuals with chronic pain/ sensory dysregulation.  

Instructor | Deborah (Debbie) Barrett, PhD, LCSW is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and the Department of Medicine in Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Debbie is passionate about improving life for individuals with chronic pain, and provides workshops whenever asked. She has been facilitating dialectical pain management groups at UNC Psychiatry outpatient practice since 2016, where she also works with individuals with chronic pain and comorbid struggles. Prior to that, she spent a decade co-facilitating low-fee DBT groups in private practice. She is also the director of continuing education at UNC School of Social Work, which is committed to offering programs that are accessible, grounded in evidence, and centered on social justice.


There are no prerequisites for this course.


Attendees are highly encouraged to attend an introductory DBT training (e.g., DBT in a Nutshell), as the fundamentals of DBT will not be addressed in this training.


Participants who complete the full training will earn 6 CE hours.

Portland DBT Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6326. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Portland DBT Institute is solely is responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Individual Registration Fee
Group Registration Fee for 3 or more
$225.00 / person
Student Registration Fee
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Private Training Requests

Portland DBT Institute training is available to schedule as a private training for your group. PDBTI’s training team travels locally, nationally, and internationally, to provide evidence based, adherent DBT training. Please fill out our Training Request Form and a training coordinator will contact you to see how we can work together to exceed your organization’s training goals.

Private Training Request


A $60.00 handling fee will be deducted upon cancellation. Refund requests by fax or email must be received two weeks before the start date. In addition, the fees are non-transferrable.

PDBTI reserves the right to cancel any program due to under-enrollment, or any course due to work stoppages, instructor illness or inclement weather. If a course is cancelled, PDBTI is responsible for refunding only the course fee.