Make Your Therapy More Effective by Participating in a Coping Skills Group
Unfortunately, therapy and medications aren’t always enough. Sometimes feeling better is all about changing your thoughts and your behaviors. I teach coping skills that help participants to reduce intense and painful emotions, such as rage, panic, despair, and shame. Learning these skills can benefit people with a wide variety of diagnoses and difficulties:
- Borderline Personality
- Bipolar Disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Dissociative Identity Disorder
- Substance Dependence
- Eating Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders
Groups are kept small (2-4 participants) and informal. I have weekly daytime, evening, and Saturday groups available. I hold groups in Atlanta/Buckhead and Roswell. Groups are designed to augment individual or family therapy. Groups are based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The coping skills I teach are divided into four categories:
Being in the “here and now.” Reducing self-criticism.
• Distress Tolerance
Decreasing emotional pain and avoiding self-destructive behaviors through acceptance and distraction.
• Emotion Regulation
Changing the course of negative feelings in the long term.
• Interpersonal Effectiveness
Assertiveness for all types of people and situations.
I offer daytime, evening and weekend groups in my Atlanta (32 Lenox Pointe, Ste. B, Atlanta, GA 30324) and Roswell (490 Sun Valley Dr. Suite 205 Roswell, GA 30076) offices. Contact me
for group times and locations.
Please read OFFICE SAFETY MEASURES FOR COVID-19
for information about required health safety measures in the office.
Women aged 18-30 can attend any group I offer. They may also attend a young adult group. Contact me for details.
I do not offer DBT Groups for men/boys. I do not offer DBT Groups for girls under age 18.
What is the time commitment for the group?
Groups meet weekly for 1.5 hrs.
I teach all of the above skills over the course of 24 weeks. However, participants are not financially committed to the entire course. You and your therapist can decide how long you stay in the group. Some participants stay in the group for a year or more so that they learn the skills well and can use them automatically.
How do I get started?
In order to enroll in a group, you must complete an individual initial assessment with me. This takes an hour and can be scheduled for your convenience. After your assessment is completed and it is determined that you may benefit from the group, you can join any group that has openings. There is no need to wait for the “beginning” of a group; participants join and leave groups when they are ready.
What is the cost of the group?
- All group participants must complete an individual assessment before beginning the group. The cost for this is $110.
- The weekly fee is $35. I do charge $35 even if you miss a group as a “holding your space” fee. Charging for missed groups allows me to keep my fees lower overall. Payment is due in cash, check, credit card, or Venmo, on or before group meetings. I charge a small “convenience fee” to process credit card payments.
- I charge a $70 deposit at your second group. I will use this deposit your last two weeks of group as long as you give me a two week notice of finishing/discontinuing the group.
In-office group participants must purchase DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets second edition (2015) by Dr. Marsha Linehan. This spiral bound paperback book is available on Amazon.com. The cost is approximately $35.
Am I required to be under the care of an individual or family therapist while I am in the group?
Yes. Group participants are required to also attend individual or family therapy while in the group. You learn coping skills in my group, but your therapist can help you utilize these skills in your everyday life.
What happens in a Coping Skills Group?
The group meets each week for 1.5 hours. We begin with a simple and brief meditation or relaxation exercise. Then we review homework. (Homework usually consists of practicing the skills for about 20 minutes several times in the week.) If someone doesn’t feel like sharing her or his homework, that’s O.K. No one is forced to talk if they prefer not to share. Then we take a 10-minute break. After the break, we review one or two new skills. Questions are encouraged. I try to make groups fun and interesting.
How big are the DBT Coping Skills groups?
There are 2-5 participants in any in-office group.
Will I have to share personal information in the group?
The group focuses on teaching coping skills. You are in charge of how much personal information you choose to share.
What happens if the group I want is full?
If the group you want is full, you can complete the initial assessment and be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list is rarely longer than a month.
What happens if my personal schedule changes and the group meeting time is no longer convenient for me?
Participants can change to another group (including a Virtual group) at any time as long as there is space available.
What is “Dialectical Behavior Therapy”?
DBT was designed for individuals with borderline personality disorder. However, it is used for clients with other diagnoses. In DBT treatment, clients participate in weekly individual therapy and a weekly Coping Skills Group. The treatment itself is based largely in behavioral theory with some mindfulness and cognitive therapy elements.
I also provide Virtual DBT Groups for Women.
For more detailed information about some aspects of the DBT Groups, you can download:
More Information on the DBT Skills Group