There is some evidence to suggest 121 DBT sessions alonside DBT skills groups may offer better outcomes

The evidence for 121 and skills groups, the ‘Full Programme’

There is some evidence to suggest that DBT 121 sessions alongside DBT skills groups may provide better outcomes than DBT skills groups alone. However, more research is needed to confirm this.

One study, published in the journal Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice in 2012, found that participants who received both DBT 121 sessions and DBT skills groups showed greater improvements in distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and mindfulness than those who received DBT skills groups alone.

Another study, published in the journal Behavior Therapy in 2014, found that participants who received both DBT 121 sessions and DBT skills groups were more likely to complete the skills group program and to show improvements in their symptoms than those who received DBT skills groups alone.

However, it is important to note that both of these studies were relatively small and more research is needed to confirm their findings. Additionally, it is important to consider the individual needs of each client when deciding whether or not to recommend DBT 121 sessions in addition to DBT skills groups.

Some of the potential benefits of receiving DBT 121 sessions in addition to DBT skills groups include:

  • More individualized attention and support
  • The opportunity to work on specific problems or challenges in more depth
  • The ability to learn skills at a pace that is right for you
  • The opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with your therapist

However, it is also important to consider the potential costs of receiving DBT 121 sessions, such as the increased cost and time commitment.

Overall, the evidence for DBT 121 sessions alongside DBT skills groups providing better outcomes than DBT skills groups alone is mixed. More research is needed to confirm these findings. However, there are some potential benefits to receiving DBT 121 sessions in addition to DBT skills groups, such as more individualized attention and support. The decision of whether or not to recommend DBT 121 sessions should be made on a case-by-case basis, considering the individual needs of each client.

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    Harnessing the Power of DBT 121 Sessions

    In Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), 121 sessions, also known as individual therapy sessions, are one of the core components of the treatment. The primary aim is to generalise skills learned in skills training groups to the individual’s day-to-day life, manage and decrease self-destructive behaviours, and address specific challenges and obstacles. Below is an outline of what usually happens in a DBT individual session:

    1. Agenda Setting:

    • Priority Setting: At the beginning of each session, the therapist and the individual collaboratively set an agenda. High-priority targets such as life-threatening behaviours, therapy-interfering behaviours, and quality-of-life interfering behaviours are addressed first.
    • Check-in: Review of the individual’s week, including experiences, thoughts, behaviours, and any crises that occurred.

    2. Behaviour Chain Analysis:

    • Identifying Problem Behaviours: Detailed examination of specific problematic behaviours, including the events leading up to it, thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions.
    • Coping Analysis: Identifying effective coping strategies and alternative solutions.

    3. Skill Generalisation:

    • Skills Application: The therapist helps the individual apply DBT skills to specific situations and challenges encountered since the last session.
    • Homework Review: Discussing and reviewing the homework assigned in the skills training group, focusing on the application and generalisation of learned skills.

    4. Target Behaviours:

    • Addressing Priority Targets: The therapist and individual work on addressing and modifying target behaviours, such as self-harm, suicidal ideation, or other behaviours interfering with the individual’s quality of life.
    • Goal Setting: Establishing and working towards personalised treatment goals related to enhancing quality of life.

    5. Validation and Change Strategies:

    • Balancing Acceptance and Change: The therapist employs strategies to validate the individual’s experiences while also encouraging behavioural change.
    • Cognitive Restructuring: Addressing and modifying maladaptive thoughts and beliefs.

    6. Homework Assignment:

    • Skills Practice: Assigning specific skills for the individual to practise before the next session, based on the issues addressed in the current session.
    • Behavioural Assignments: May include exposure to feared situations, practising new behaviours, or applying coping skills.

    7. Feedback and Collaboration:

    • Therapeutic Relationship: Ongoing discussion about the therapeutic relationship and any issues or concerns with the therapy process.
    • Mutual Feedback: Both therapist and individual provide feedback on the session and collaborate on making any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.


    • Summary and Plan: The therapist summarises the key points of the session and collaboratively develops a plan for the coming week, focusing on applying learned skills and addressing specific challenges.

    Individual therapy sessions in DBT are structured yet flexible, focusing on the unique needs and goals of the individual while maintaining adherence to the DBT model. The therapist’s role is to maintain a balance between accepting and validating the client’s experiences and pushing for change and skill development.


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    Amy Matthew
    Amy Matthew
    I have had so many years struggling with my anxiety and have seen a few professionals over the years but my time I have spent with Jason has really helped me become so much more confident in myself and I can't thank him enough for taking the time to understand my issues and giving me the best tools that will stay with me and help me to continue to grow and become a stronger woman. Thank you Jason.
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    Jack Christodoulou
    I would like to express my gratitude to Jason Ward for he's amazing help and getting me through dark times and into the light again. (I didn't think it was possible) many thanks life is better now.
    Tallie Samuels
    Tallie Samuels
    I completed all four modules of the DBT course in 2020, and I can honestly say my life has been changed. I received so much support from Jason & Jerinda throughout my sessions, and I always felt like I was in a safe space with them. Throughout the course, I built up skills that I am still using today. I now find everyday life easier to manage; feel more in control of my emotional responses; am able to to tap into 'wise mind' rather than thinking in black & white; and I have a number of coping skills that make emotional crises easier to manage, when they do happen. This is the best course of therapy I have ever completed, and I have tried many different kinds in my lifetime. Thanks to the skills I learnt on the course, and to my own hard work integrating them into my life, I now live a life that feels worth living. Thank you.
    Samantha Tran-Larkin
    Samantha Tran-Larkin
    I have completed 2 modules of the DBT programme so far and I can honestly say it has honestly changed my life. I am not a stranger to therapy. 2 years ago I started general psychotherapy following the birth of my 4th child as I developed what I thought was PND. I also had a volatile relationship. Because of my personal circumstances, things progressively got worse. When I started the DBT programme I was lost, angry, hopeless and saw this as my last chance to solve some crisis of mine. 2 modules in, I feel refreshed and optimistic. I understand myself more and get boundaries. I am more productive and for the first time in a long while I can actually say I am happy. I will most likely revisit certain modules for a little refresh and will continue to use my invaluable DBT skills everyday. Thank you Jason.
    Sevda Sipahi
    Sevda Sipahi
    I was feeling insecure, anxious and depressed. I have joined the DBT sessions. I found it so helpful and effective. Before DBT, l wasn’t aware of the skills. Jason and Jurenda are such amazing people with their knowledge and positivity. They were so supportive. They taught me the skills and motivated me a lot to use the skills. Gradually l felt l improved myself quite a lot and definitely l feel much better now than before. It also improved my self confidence. I am more aware of myself now than before. I learnt to be in wise mind rather than being too emotional or too rational. I want to thank Jason and Jurenda for their good work, support and kindness.
    I've been working on my DBT skills with Jason for the past 9 months. In that time I have learnt enough repair damaged relationships with family, to begin to curb my unhealthy 'problem behaviours' and to start to build back up my self esteem and work on treating myself with kindness and compassion. I would thoroughly recommend DBT therapy, I think we all have a lot to learn from it. Without it and without Jason I wouldn't be where I am right now - I'm very grateful.
    Samuel Perry
    Samuel Perry
    Jason helped me through a very low period in my life, I was depressed and anxious, using DBT skills helped resolve my symptoms.
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    Daniel Fox
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