2022 RCT of DBT Online vs DBT Face-to-Face at our Essentia Health Clinic on the Gold Coast has commenced!

Our Executive Director, Dr. Peter King, today announced that our DBT programs commencing 30th March 2022 will be researched through a Randomized Clinical Trial in partnership with Southern Cross University – A comparison of online and face-to-face Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: A parallel-group randomized trial and pragmatic evaluation.

The Australian DBT Institute has been developing DBT practioners and DBT programs since 2004. Our research and development team have been motivated to place considerable time and resources to this project in the hope that the knowledge gained assists individuals to access safe and effective therapeutic interventions beyond our clinical programs. Our partnership with Southern Cross University, throughout this project, led by Associate Professor Richard Lakeman, has offered the opportunity to share the work of our dedicated clinicians providing our unique trauma-informed DBT approach over the past eighteen years!

Dr. Peter King, Executive Director at the Australian DBT Institute

Participants referred to our DBT programs, who meet the eligibility criteria for the RCT, will be provided with the option of participating in this RCT. Participants identified as eligible will be provided with a participant information sheet by one of our Credentialed DBT Practitioners who will seek informed consent before commencing the program.

A randomized trial is considered the ‘gold standard’ indicator of whether a treatment works or not. The Australian DBT Institute is one of the few organizations which developed a full DBT programme online before COVID-19 forced many programmes online. In a collaborative project with Southern Cross University, our Credentialed DBT Practitioners have undergone in-depth interviews (as part of a previous study) which concluded that our online programme is likely to be as effective as the face-to-face programme, and has been well received by both our therapists and research staff at Southern Cross University. In this project, we will seek to compare the effectiveness of each type of delivery in a full DBT programme. We hope that the knowledge gained will assist in developing programmes that can be offered to individuals and communities who would otherwise not be able to access DBT with the confidence that these programmes are safe and effective.


Participants in this RCT will be recruited from referrals to our Gold Coast clinic, Essentia Health. For participating in this research, individuals will have access to a $600 rebate over the course of a full DBT program at Essentia Health on the Gold Coast.

For a referral to our DBT Program feel free to call our team on 07 5619 8031, or SMS/WhatsApp our team on 0401 535 188, complete the referral form below or email us at research@dbtinstitute.com.au and we will assist with the most appropriate referral!


Chief Investigator: Associate Professor Richard Lakeman (1) Co-investigators: Stacey Anderson (1, 4), Professor John Hurley  (1), Dr Claudia Hererra (2), Dr Andrew Leggett  (3), Dr Peter King (1,2), Dr Steve Provost (1), Dr Richard Tranter (3)

(1) Southern Cross University, (2) Australian DBT Institute, (3) Mid North Coast Local Health Service District (LHD), (4) Potential HDR student, Psychologist in private practice.

 If you have any questions about this research please contact the chief investigator, Dr Richard Lakeman (+61 420355374) or email Richard.lakeman@scu.edu.au)


Australian DBT Institute project team

  • Dr. Peter King and Dr. Claudia Herrera (Co-investigators)
  • Jacklyn Whybrow (Senior Clinician)
  • Crystal Black (Research Assistant)

For further information and inquiries please contact our project team via email (research@dbtinstitute.com.au) or phone at 07 5619 8031.

Expression of Interest – DBT Program (RCT)

This form is for individuals seeking to express their interest in the April 2022 intake of Essentia Health’s DBT Program. This program has now concluded. If you seek a referral to our services please go to https://essentiahealth.com.au/new-client-referrals/