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Tailoring DBT Skills Instruction to Neurodivergent Needs

September 22, 2023 @ 11:45 am - 2:00 pm

An interactive workshop for clinicians working with neurodivergent clients with as emphasis on clients with ADHD and ASD. (2 CE Credit)

Workshop Description:

DBT is an empirically supported modality of therapy which is why most agencies, providers, etc. utilize DBT or DBT-informed interventions. Neurodivergent individuals, such as those with ADHD and Autism, interact with these skills a bit differently. Historically, this population has been marginalized and stigmatized so when they do enter into care, it’s important to ensure that they feel safe. This session will look over ways to make your therapy setting more accommodating with variations is lighting, seating, etc.

Learning Objectives:

1. Define neurodivergent with emphasis on ASD and ADHD, and care with some history around pathologizing these forms of neurodivergence

2. Overview the four DBT modules (Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness) and use specific skills from each module and how to tailor them based on neuro-diverse needs

3. Overview of ableist language/stereotypes and how identify internalized stigma/ableism

4. Examine a strengths-based approach to neurodiversity


11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Sign-on & Introduction

12:00 p.m. – 12:15 am. Overview of workshop learning objectives

12:15 p.m. – 12.30 p.m. Orientation to neurodiversity; define terms

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Pathologizing language and history of mental health stigma, microaggressions, and define ableism

12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Overview of DBT; premises, practices, modules

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Specific skills and overview of how to tailor them to support neurodivergent needs

1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Tailoring the individual and group space for accessibility/safety

1:45 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. Q&A wrap up


Lucia (aka Luca) Caltabiano (they/them) is a non-binary provider that serves clients who has lived and professional experience at the intersection of gender and neurodiversity. Luca graduated with their MSW in 2017 from UGA, has been teaching since 2011, and working in mental health since 2013.

Continuing Education Credits:

2 Contact Hour for Counselors through NBCC

2 Core Hours for Social Workers Approval #051723 through GSCSW

2 Related Hour for Marriage & Family Therapists

For additional questions please contact Hillside’s Director of Clinical Education& Outreach, Gaan Akers, LPC, at gakers@hside.org

Current Version


September 22, 2023
11:45 am - 2:00 pm