DBT in a Nutshell: Treating Multi-Diagnostic, Complex Individuals

August 22-23, 2024
7:00am – 2:30pm Pacific Time
(10:00am – 5:30pm Eastern Time)

Presented via Zoom Video Communications

Irmary Rodríguez Rivera, PhD
DBT-Linehan Board of Certification Certified Clinician™


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a highly efficacious treatment developed by Marsha M. Linehan, PhD for multi-diagnostic, severely disordered individuals with pervasive emotion dysregulation. While originally developed for difficult-to-treat patients with borderline personality disorder, research has demonstrated that DBT is also effective for patients with a variety of complex problems, including eating disorders and substance abuse, where emotion dyscontrol are often at the core of the patient’s problems and/or interfere with long-term maintenance of therapeutic progress. DBT has been adapted for use in a variety of settings, including prisons, inpatient hospitals, schools, and juvenile justice facilities.

Topics covered will include:

  • Theoretical basis for DBT and biosocial theory
  • Big, emerging research trends and implications for DBT and DBT programs, including cost-effectiveness data
  • Structural strategies in DBT, including Stages & Targets of treatment
  • Strategies for adapting DBT to unique settings using DBT functions and modes
  • Effective use of the behavioral chain analysis to zero in on what’s controlling problem behaviors
  • Validation strategies: When and how to use them
  • Dialectics: What it is and how it’s used in DBT
  • Overview of DBT skill modules


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

  1. Describe the biosocial theory and its components.
  2. Describe the patients for whom DBT is effective and identify the most important components of DBT given recent scientific findings.
  3. List and describe the rationale for targets of treatment in Stage I DBT.
  4. Identify the components of a behavioral chain analysis.
  5. Describe six levels of validation and function of validation strategies.
  6. Describe the primary dialectic in DBT and how dialectics are applied in DBT.
  7. Name the DBT Skills modules and their primary function.

Instructor Irmary Rodríguez Rivera, PhD, (she/they) is a first generation doctoral, queer, Puertorican folk and licensed clinician. They received their doctorate in clinical psychology from Albizu University San Juan Campus, at Puerto Rico. They provide comprehensive DBT and evidence based treatment to teenagers and adults, families, groups and couples. Irmary has dedicated her career to treating mood, personality, trauma, substance use, eating, suicidality, self harm related behaviors and disorders. They have clinical experience in a wide range of settings from outpatient and IOP to residential and inpatient hospitalization. Dr. Rodríguez Rivera is a DBT- Certified Clinician by the Linehan Board of Certification.

Dr. Rodríguez Rivera strives to increase accessibility of DBT to communities, such as LGBTQIA+, non monogoamous and BIPOC population. Consequently they participate in DBT BIPOC anti racism meetings, attend research efforts such as World DBT Association research committee and are developing a Spanish language program for DBT groups. Irmary has offered consultation and training to providers and practicum students regarding research and DBT interventions.

Outside of work, Irmary enjoys anime, crocheting, hiking, baking, camping and mastering new skills. Currently increasing and nurturing community in the PNW by linking previous and soon to be new hobbies and interests with others.


This course is designed for mental health and other professionals (clergy, teachers, nurses, PCPs) who are called upon to help improve their clients lives through skillful actions.


There are no prerequisites for this course. For maximal impact, we encourage learners to bring copies of Linehan’s (2014) skills training manuals to the workshop – DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition 2nd Edition


Participants who complete both training days will earn 12 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
$325.00 / 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.