DBT IN SCHOOLS
DBT in Schools has developed the DBT Steps-A skills training and social-emotional problem-solving curriculum for adolescents.
The curriculum was developed to be implemented in middle and high schools in order to teach all adolescents effective emotion regulation, decision making, and problem-solving skills.
The DBT STEPS-A curriculum includes 30 lesson plans that are designed to fit within a general education curriculum. Each lesson is 50 minutes long. The curriculum was adapted from the skills training program in Dialectical Behavior Therapy developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, Professor at the University of Washington (Behavioral Tech, n.d.).
The 30 lessons cover skills from each of the DBT skills modules including:
Orientation & Goal Setting
Core Mindfulness Skills
Distress Tolerance Skills
Emotion Regulation Skills
Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills
DBT STEPS-A has been being used in several middle and high school programs around the country.
Dr. Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza and Dr. James Mazza Interview
Dr. Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza is licensed psychologist, a certified DBT therapist and co-author of the DBT STEPS-A social emotional learning curriculum for middle and high school students. Dr. Dexter-Mazza completed her postdoctoral fellowship under the direction of Dr. Marsha Linehan at the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics (BRTC) at the University of Washington. While at the BRTC, she was the Clinical Director and a research therapist for Dr. Linehan’s research studies, which provided both individual DBT and DBT group skills training. Dr. Dexter-Mazza is the co-author of DBT Skills in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A). She has published several book chapters and peer reviewed articles on DBT, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and graduate school training in how to manage suicidal clients. Dr. Dexter-Mazza is considered an expert in training mental health professionals around the world in DBT. She also provides consultation on the implementation of DBT and DBT STEPS-A to clinicians and schools.
Dr. James J. Mazza has a Ph.D. in school psychology and the co-author of the DBT STEPS-A social emotional learning curriculum for middle and high school students. Dr. Mazza is a professor at the University of Washington – Seattle where he has been for the past 20 years teaching and conducting research in the field of adolescent mental health. Dr. Dexter-Mazza is the co-author of DBT Skills in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A). Dr. Mazza’s research interests focus particularly on adolescent internalizing disorders such as depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, exposure to violence and especially suicidal behavior. He examines the complex relationships of how mental health issues impact adolescent social emotional abilities and academic skills through a multitiered system of supports. Dr. Mazza’s focuses on school-based settings and has written extensively through peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on how to identify youth who are at-risk for suicidal behavior as well as developing social emotional learning (SEL) curricula to help all students learn emotion regulation skills.
Click the links below to find out more about DBT Steps-A.