- Begin all individual sessions in DBT stages I & II with a mindfulness activity and review of the diary card.
- A primary change intervention in DBT stage I is behavioral chain analysis while stage II focuses on exposure-based interventions for trauma and histories of invalidation.
- Within each session, DBT individual therapists prioritize targets to address in session and help the patient see how working on these will help them achieve their life-worth-living goals.
DBT individual therapists stick to a *structured yet flexible agenda *in stages 1 and 2. In stage 1, *improving behavioral control and learning skills is essential. *Once the patient is stabilized and has acquired a working knowledge of the DBT skills, more emotionally intense work such as *trauma processing can be initiated in stage 2. Regardless of whether the patient is in stage 1 or stage 2, *the overall format of individual sessions is essentially the same.
All sessions begin with a *mindfulness activity. This can last anywhere *between one and five minutes. It *is important not to skip the mindfulness activity as it implies that it’s not important. In DBT, being *present, fully present in the moment is the minimum required foundation of being able to practice skills. *Conducting a mindfulness activity at the beginning and end of session further reinforces this idea