Helping Clients Heal from Self-Harm: A DBT Approach for Teens

New! Filmed Spring 2021

Presented by Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, RSW

On Demand | Available Now


6 Hours  |   Pre-approved for 6 CEUs


This On Demand course and will be available after purchase. Participants can watch, pause, and re-watch the sessions at their convenience.

Recored footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until May 26, 2022. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on May 12, 2022. 

Self-harm, or non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is most common among adolescents and young adults. Although NSSI typically decreases in late adolescence, this behavior is one of the strongest antecedents of suicide in youth; and those who engage in repetitive NSSI seem to be at high risk for continuing to use dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies, even after discontinuing NSSI. People engage in NSSI for a wide array of reasons (including a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD), but usually this involves an inability to manage emotions in some way, making Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) an ideal treatment for this population.

While most mental health clinicians will encounter NSSI at some point, there is still a paucity of research about this behaviour and why it happens; and  education programs rarely teach about this behaviour and how to work with clients who are engaging in it. This workshop will help you understand NSSI, factors to consider when assessing and working with clients, and will take a DBT approach to helping clients eliminate this behaviour.

  • What is NSSI, and what do we know about it?
  • Why do people self-harm?
  • How to not freak out when you discover your client is self-harming
  • How to effectively assess for NSSI
  • Conceptualizing NSSI through the DBT Biosocial Theory and The Experiential Avoidance Model (EAM)
  • Overview of treating NSSI from a DBT-informed perspective:
    1. The Behavioural Analysis
    2. Distress Tolerance Skills:
      • F-TIP skills to regulate emotions quickly
      • Pros and Cons
      • Dialectical Abstinence
      • Alternate Rebellion
      • Distract, self-soothe, and IMPROVE the moment
    3. The role of Mindfulness in eliminating NSSI
    4. Emotion Regulation Skills:
      • Nonjudgmental Stance
      • Radical Acceptance
      • Self-validation
      • Opposite to Emotion Action
  • How to define Non-suicidal Self-Injury and some of the statistics related to this
  • Tools to help you not freak out when you find out your client is self-harming
  • Reasons teens self-harm and ways to help yourself, your client, and their family understand the behaviour
  • How to effectively assess for self-harm and tools to help improve commitment to treatment, building rapport and trust
  • Overview of some DBT skills and strategies to work toward eliminate self-harming behaviours

All Mental Health Professionals: K–12 Classroom Teachers, School Counsellors/Psychologists, Learning Assistance/ Resource Teachers, School Administrators, School Paraprofessionals including Special Education Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Childcare Workers. All other professionals who support students including but not limited to: Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Addiction Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Probation Officers, and Early Childhood Educators. 

Parents, Caregiver, Foster Parents, Grandparents, and Extended Family raising a child.

Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, RSW, is a Social Worker, registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has been working in the mental health field since 2000, most of which she has spent both in private practice and at Southlake Regional Health Centre, working with clients with severe mental health problems. Sheri has had extensive training in mindfulness, DBT and CBT, and has been running DBT-informed groups since 2004.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$249.00N/A
Full-Time Student$199.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits