Certification Exam Components

WRITTEN EXAM: 

Two multiple-choice exams are required for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.  The first is an exam on knowl­edge of behav­ior ther­apy prin­ci­ples and prac­tices. This must be passed before tak­ing the sec­ond exam, on DBT prin­ci­ples and practices.

The first exam assesses the knowl­edge of behav­ior ther­apy prin­ci­ples and prac­tices. Data has shown that indi­vid­u­als with strong behav­ioral back­grounds are more likely to imple­ment DBT effec­tively than those with less knowl­edge of behav­ioral principles.

The sec­ond exam cov­ers the essen­tial domains of knowl­edge a DBT clin­i­cian must know to be cer­ti­fied. The con­tent reflects the core com­pe­ten­cies described in the DBT Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Cat­e­gories for DBT Skills Trainer and DBT Indi­vid­ual Ther­a­pist.  These domains are:  Bio-social The­ory and Frame­work of DBT; Val­i­da­tion; Dialec­tics; DBT Mind­ful­ness; DBT Team; Sui­cide Risk Assess­ment and Inter­ven­tion; and DBT Skills Training.

 

PERFORMANCE:

The per­for­mance com­po­nent of the exam con­sists of two parts.  The first occurs dur­ing the super­vi­sion of cases and groups as described in the pre­req­ui­sites.  Tapes of ses­sions are eval­u­ated for adher­ence as described in the pre­req­ui­sites. When these pre­req­ui­sites are met, the exam­i­nee is eli­gi­ble for an oral exam.

The oral exam will be admin­is­tered by two DBT experts, cer­ti­fied at the appro­pri­ate level for the exam­i­na­tion and approved by the Board of Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and Accred­i­ta­tion as meet­ing the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions to test for DBT certification.

 

  • Indi­vid­ual DBT Therapist:

The exam­i­nee is expected to present an indi­vid­ual case. S/he will be pre­pared to dis­cuss intake and ori­en­ta­tion pro­ce­dures, DBT case for­mu­la­tion, the his­tory of progress in ther­apy thus far and a delin­eation of cur­rent goals and targets.

The pre­sen­ta­tion will last approx­i­mately thirty min­utes and should include taped seg­ments of ther­apy as demon­stra­tion of DBT strate­gies by the therapist.

After the pre­sen­ta­tion, the exam­in­ers will fur­ther test the appli­cant on knowl­edge of DBT as it relates to the case described and to other areas of DBT (see domains, above), as well as the core com­pe­ten­cies described for the Indi­vid­ual DBT Ther­a­pist in the Cat­e­gories for Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. The appli­cant should be pre­pared to engage in role plays as fur­ther assess­ment of his or her competency.

 

  • DBT Skills Trainer:

The exam­i­nee will be expected to describe the struc­ture of a group s/he leads, includ­ing: intake pro­ce­dures, group for­mat, group guide­lines, demo­graph­ics of mem­bers and coor­di­na­tion with clin­i­cians deliv­er­ing other DBT modal­i­ties for clients in the group.

The pre­sen­ta­tion will last approx­i­mately thirty min­utes and should include taped seg­ments of skills group as demon­stra­tion of DBT strate­gies by the ther­a­pist.  Seg­ments should include ses­sions in which the exam­i­nee is in both the roles of “Lead” and “Co-lead”.

After the pre­sen­ta­tion, the exam­in­ers will fur­ther test the appli­cant on knowl­edge of DBT as it relates to skills train­ing and the modal­ity of skills group, as well as other areas of DBT (see domains, above), as well as the core com­pe­ten­cies described for DBT Skill Trainer in the Cat­e­gories for Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.  The appli­cant should be pre­pared to engage in role-plays as fur­ther assess­ment of his or her competency.