Canberra DBT Program: Information for Staff


The Canberra Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Program is operated by an alliance of registered privately practicing allied health practitioners. All practitioners work across clinical and administrative aspects of the program. Some practitioners also offer clinical training and supervision in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, in addition to the provision of the clinical program.

Roles within the program depend on each practitioner’s individual interests and level of experience and may include:

  • Monitoring the DBT intake phone and managing new referrals
  • Conducting new client assessments
  • Leading or co-leading the DBT skills group
  • Conducting client DBT individual therapy
  • Undertaking a DBT practitioner traineeship
  • Conducting clinical training or supervision



Trainees are not paid for their contribution to the program. Typically a traineeship lasts for one ‘round’ of skills group, ie, participating once in each skills group module. To begin with, trainees assist with administrative aspects of the program, observe skills group leaders and participate in consultation meetings. As trainee confidence increases, trainees take a more active teaching and facilitating role at skills group. It is expected that trainees will be actively participating in the facilitation of skills group prior to the completion of the traineeship. At completion of the traineeship, it is expected that trainees will transition to the role of full team member. If a trainee feels they have transitioned to the role of full team member earlier than one ‘round’ of skills group, they are encouraged to raise this at consult and request to transition early out of the traineeship. If, after one ‘round’ of skills group a trainee feels they are not ready to take on the responsibilities of a full team member, they may request at consult an extension of the trainee period.

Group leaders

  • Group leaders who take responsibility for the overall wellbeing of the group participants and the teaching of new skills are paid $250 per group for a medium size group and $300 per group for a large size group
  • Group co-leaders who lead facilitation of the review and skills practice are paid $200 per group
  • It is the responsibility of each group leader to submit an invoice to consult periodically to facilitate payment

Individual therapists set their own fees per session.


Practitioners contribute to the cost of telephone consultation with a B. Tech trainer. Kate Comtois, a B. Tech intensive trainer, consults regularly with the Canberra team to assist with DBT adherence and to provide support to the therapists. The cost is approximately $400 per year.

In addition, as private practitioners, each individual is responsible for their own business costs, for example, clinic room hire etc.

Time commitment:

In addition to the clinical time commitment of seeing individual clients or facilitating skills group, practitioners also attend consultation group from 6.00pm every second Wednesday. Consultation group focuses on enhancing therapist skills, abilities and motivation through training and coordination. In addition to consultation group, administration time to contribute to the smooth running of the program is also required.

Practitioner minimum standards:

Unless joining the program as a trainee, practitioners are required to have undertaken training in DBT prior to joining the program. Prior experience in DBT as an individual therapist and skills trainer is highly regarded. Practitioners must be established in private practice, with professional indemnity insurance and an ability to receipt for monies received. Short term collaboration with the program is not encouraged. Practitioners are expected to join the program for a minimum of 6 months, with longer collaboration being the norm.

Trainees must have a willingness to commit to the program as fully as all other members. It is expected that trainees will remain with the program during a training period of a minimum 6 months, and thereafter remain with the program as a full contributing member.