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DBT for Indigenous Populations (12mth Training)

3 Days in December 2015 and 3 Days in December, 2016

  • Part 1: 3 day residential program, monthly 90 minute Skype sessions plus a 20 hour online curriculum for mental health professionals and Indigenous health workers wanting to provide a DBT adapted program for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander youth between 16 and 30 years.
  • Part 2: 3 day residential program
  • Full access to our online training and resource centre
  • Facilitators: Peter King & Allan Murray

This training program supports mental health professionals and Indigenous health workers to deliver the skills, knowledge and resources to successfully implement the ATSI-DBT Program which has been developed by the Australian DBT Institute and adapted in a range of communities and settings.

The ATSI-DBT Program uses a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) approach adapted for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander youth. This program supports all young people within all dimensions of their lives not just those with a diagnosable mental illness (social & emotional wellbeing concern). Target areas can include health, education, identity, relationships, social skills, emotional development, and self care. The strength of the program lies in the commitment to cultural, community and family values. This translates into long-term love, nurturing and caring – together with the practicalities of diet, education, vocational development and socialising. Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander youth who are engaged in the ATSI-DBT Program become active participants in school, work or self advancement.

Through the ATSI-DBT Program, the Institute utilises a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) approach with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander youth who struggle to use effective coping strategies within their lives.  DBT is an empirically based treatment model that has proven effective in treating young people with a multitude of behavioural and social, emotional and wellbeing problems.  When implemented with community support and leadership, this program empowers our youth with a portable skill set that enables them to improve the quality of their life and sustain these changes into adulthood.  The program emphasises a nonjudgmental, validating approach to supporting young people and their families.

Some of the benefits are as follows:

  • Focus on treating behaviors not a psychiatric diagnosis
  • Validating, nonjudgmental approach
  • Self-assessing skills and improved self-knowledge
  • Portable skill set:  Targeting emotional dysregulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and mindfulness
  • Behavioral consultation team approach
  • Empirically based strategies
  • Individual, family and group therapy protocols
  • Emphasis on relapse prevention
  • Working towards life goals (For example: Gaining a life worth living!)

What are the Program Goals?

  • To build relationships with Indigenous youth in our community
  • To develop a level of trust with the youth we will be working with
  • To identify activities to keep the young people active and engaged. E.g. special guest speakers, bowling, lunch, sports, arts…
  • To provide any physical, emotional or directive necessary
  • To empower the young people to make their own decisions
  • To involve people from all walks of life in the development and understanding of Indigenous youth and Indigenous culture
  • To reduce the use of drugs and alcohol in the Indigenous community
  • To replicate our program in regional and remote regions of Australia
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