Each Essentia Health Clinic has available credentialed DBT Practitioners who have attended intensive training in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Our clinics provide DBT programs on behalf of the Australian DBT Institute and we have been delivering group programs and individual therapy since 2004.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Through our affiliation with the Australian DBT Institute, our clinicians are credentialed providers of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). DBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on behavioural change for individuals with extreme emotions and distress. The “D” means “dialectical.” A dialectic is a synthesis or integration of opposites. In DBT, dialectical strategies help both the therapist and the client get unstuck from extreme positions. Dialectical strategies keep the therapy in balance and help clients reach their ultimate goals as quickly as possible. The “B” stands for “behavioural.” DBT requires a behavioural approach. This means that we assess the situations and target behaviours that are relevant to our clients’ goals in order to figure out how to solve the problems in their lives. The “T” stands for “therapy” which DBT is.

2022 DBT Group Programs at Essentia Health

Due to an increased demand for DBT programs, the Australian DBT Institute has recently launched additional programs in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast from our Essentia Health Clinics and online through DBT Assist.

2022 is the seventh year DBT programs have been led by Institute Director Dr Peter King in Essentia Health Clinics. The Institute DBT Programs provide a model of best practice which has been replicated around Australia where Peter, through the Institute, supports the development of DBT programs, educates staff and evaluates Australian DBT programs. Our Clinical Director, Sam Whybrow, manages our DBT programs nationally and is available with our intake team to answer any questions you may have related to DBT and our DBT programs.

Waitlist times for our DBT Programs

  • Gold Coast DBT Service, Essentia Health Gold Coast (Qld) – February 2022 (4 programs)
  • Melbourne DBT Service, Essentia Health Brighton (Vic) – July 2022 (1 program)
  • Sydney DBT Service, Essentia Health Sydney (NSW) – July 2022 (1 program)
  • Online DBT Groups through DBT Assist – February 2022 (6+ programs)

About the Australian DBT Institute’s DBT Programs

Our DBT programs have been developed by Dr. Peter King who is the developer of DBT-TI. ​ DBT-TI is a Trauma Informed approach to DBT which follows the evidence base of DBT and safe trauma therapy approaches. The approach has been found to be successful in Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Thailand where Dr. King develops mental health professionals in the DBT-TI approach.

Individuals who enter our programs are in the Stabilisaiton Phase of treatment and may have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, Complex PTSD and/or an Acute Stress Reaction. Our programs run for 27 weeks in 9 week blocks with 2-3 weeks break in between each 9 week block. To get the most from our programs, we also recommend that participants enter the program once they have completed the 4 week Foundation Phase 

The foundation phase is similar to the commitment phase Marsha Linehan discusses in her text. Sessions focus on orientating individuals to the structure, treatment targets and goals of each client’s specific DBT program. We also provide an overview of the DBT program and orientation to technology such as Zoom and DBT Assist used during each participant’s DBT program.

All participants agree to the following expectations of our program:

  • Attend foundation session(s) with our intake team (initial session is free of charge)
  • Attend group sessions and individual therapy sessions (continue with your existing clinician or connect with one of ours)
  • 2-3 weeks leave in between each 9 week term
  • Complete your weekly homework tasks
  • Complete your DBT-TI diary on a weekly basis
  • Complete three self-reporting tools to assist our team measure the effectiveness of treatment
  • Abide by the guidelines of the program including: not entering relationships with other participants, not attending intoxicated or hung over and being on time
  • Payment of weekly fees for individual therapy and for group

We are Australia’s oldest (Established in 2004) and National DBT service. We like to improve our programs and other programs throughout Australia and overseas and ask participants to contribute to the improvement of our programs by providing feedback about the effectiveness of our programs. If you would like to participate in our research programs we also opportunities to participate in non-identifiable research. 

Intake, Referrals & Inquiries

Essentia Health’s National intake service on the Gold Coast provide intake and referral support to our DBT programs. Our intake team is led by Sam Whybrow (Clinical Director) and is available 6 days a week from 10am until 3pm for inquiries and referrals.

We have five options for individuals seeking to be referred to our DBT programs.

  • Call our team on 07 5646 3848, or
  • Complete the DBT Program Referral form below, or
  • Send an email to email: intake@essentiahealth.com.au, or
  • Have your GP or Psychiatrist faxed a referrals to 07 5676 6771, or
  • Ask your GP to send a referral via Medical-Objects to Dr. Peter King (5949971K)

Once we receive your referral our team will be in contact to discuss the best program for you.

DBT Program Referral Form

We have programs in the Bayside region of Melbourne and the Gold Coast in Queensland.
If you currently have a Psychologist or Counsellor please provide their details. If you do not have a therapist please type "No current therapist"
Please tick all services which you are seeking. If you have no preference with skills group format please tick all groups
If you have no preference please tick all days!
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Upload your mental health plan or referral from your GP or Psychiatrist if you have referral documents.