FESPAs our DBT program has grown, it has become clear that family members of people who are either in need of, or who are receiving this treatment need education and support as much as the client.  This program is designed for friends or family members of people who have a mental illness that causes significant emotional/behavioral dysregulation which has had an impact on others in their lives.  This program is not for the people who have the illness.

I have developed the curriculum for this group after 30 years of meeting with clients and family members and doing research into the effectiveness of the education and support groups offered.  Using the outcome measures we have, we are finding that having family members involved in this group has positively impacted their ability to support their loved-one and feel less burdened by the disorder.  In addition, clients are reporting that having their family members involved in this way has positively impacted their progress in treatment.  Family members are welcome regardless of whether or not their loved-one is in treatment.

After 7 years of running this group as a closed, 9 session group twice a year, as of August 13th, 2018 we have enhanced this program due to the feedback from participants who said that they wanted more. 

The new program consists of weekly ongoing groups, structured into modules, and is limited to 10 people.  Check the calendar for dates and times.   The groups will either be held in the TBC for CBT Group room at 219 Cook St. Brandon, FL. 33511 or they will be held via Zoom.  There are three major objectives of this program.  1.  To provide participants with education about the disorders that affect their families and orientation to DBT and other evidence-based treatments.  2.  To provide participants with a support group and decrease the isolation and stigma that is so prevalent in families dealing with mental illness.  3.  Teach the DBT Skills to family members.  These skills, although developed for emotional dysregulation disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder have since been researched to be effective tools for all of us, whether we have emotional, relational, or  behavioral problems or not.  For example, DBT STEPS-A is now being introduced into Middle and High Schools as core, required curriculum.  DBT Skills help family members not only be more effective with their loved one, it also generalizes to other parts of their lives as well.  DBT skills provide a common language of strategies that can be coached and shared within the family. 

The registration process:  New participants will have a free telephone intake call with one of the group leaders to give and receive preliminary information.  The group leader will create a client portal and send an assessment online and intake paperwork for the participant to complete.  This assessment will be reviewed and the participant will then meet with the group leader for an orientation session prior to attending the group to insure the group is a good fit.  This orientation session is $65.00.  In addition, participants will  purchase the DBT Skills Handouts and Worksheets by Marsha Linehan (2nd Edition) as that is the manual we will be teaching from. 

Weekly Group Fees:  A $5.00 Discount is provided if full payment is made at the beginning of each module for that module. 

  • For One Person who has a family member in treatment with TBC for CBT: $65:00
  • For Two people who have a family member in treatment with TBC for CBT: $55.00 per person.
  • For One person doing “Group Only” (defined as having no other family members in treatment with TBC for CBT): $70.00
  • For two people doing “Group Only” (defined as having no other family members in treatment with TBC for CBT)$60.00 per person.

Here is the structure of the new FESP Group.  You can attend one module or all of them.

Transition groups consist of: introductions to new members, saying goodbyes to members who are leaving; Orientation to the structure of the group; The Research, Biosocial theory; House and Stages of Treatment; What is DBT; The Assumptions

Module #1:  Walking the Middle Path:  Dialectics;  How to get to that Middle Path; Validation, Validation, Validation and Behaviorism; How to change yours’ or influence change in others’ behaviors.  (5 Weeks)

Transition Group  (1 Week)

Module #2:  Emotion Regulation:  Skills to manage emotions.  (5 weeks)

Transition Group  (1 Week)

Module #3:  Interpersonal Effectiveness:  Skills to be more effective in interpersonal relationships.  (5 Weeks)

Transition Group  (1 Week)

Module #4:  Distress Tolerance:  Skills to tolerate distress without engaging in unwanted behaviors.  (5 weeks)

Transition Group  (1 Week)


Please contact TBC for CBT for more information and to register.