Psychology Specialists of Maine is currently holding a weekly dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills group for adult women on Mondays 4:30pm to 6:00pm. We also have a DBT group for adult men and women schedule to begin in October, 2019 on Tuesdays 9:00am to 10:30am, and beginning November on Wednesdays 3:00 to 4:30pm. We accept new clients are the start of a module, approximately every 2-3 months. DBT is an evidence-based treatment approach traditionally recommended for borderline personality disorder; however, research suggests that this model is appropriate for clients struggling generally with chronic difficulties in emotion dysregulation.  Traditional DBT treatment incorporates DBT-specific individual and group modalities, but this model has also been shown to be effective when DBT skills group is combined with other forms of individual therapy.  Our skills group is intended for clients currently meeting regularly with an individual therapist who could benefit from supplemental emotion regulation and interpersonal skills training. 

Appropriate referrals include clients who demonstrate longstanding difficulties with managing emotions, such as intense negative emotions, emotional lability, suicidal and parasuicidal thoughts and behaviors, difficulty tolerating distress, and/or related problems in relationships.  DBT is not recommended for clients with prominent psychotic symptoms (e.g., diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia), current alcohol or substance abuse, or significant cognitive or intellectual impairments as these symptoms may interfere with the capacity to learn and implement DBT skills.  All referred clients must meet at least twice monthly with an individual therapist who will continue to be the client’s primary point of contact and must commit to handling all crises.  Clients must also be willing to commit to a 9-month course of skills group, including weekly attendance, completion of assigned homework, and active participation in group meetings.  Clients must be at least 18 years old.

For more information or to refer a client, please contact Dr. Kate White at or 207-607-4022.  All referred clients must complete a 1-hour intake appointment prior to being admitted to the DBT group to assess goodness-of-fit and provide information about the group. 


What is the format of a DBT skills group?

The DBT skills group meets weekly for 1.5 hours.  The first part of the group is spent reviewing homework and giving and receiving feedback for all group members.  The second part of the group is devoted to learning new skills through didactic training and discussion.  There are four content modules offering a wide range of skills, and it takes about 9 months to complete all four modules.  The group has open enrollment and new group members can start at the beginning of any module.  The group requires active participation from all members, including completing weekly homework. 

What types of skills will be taught in the DBT group?

There are four content modules that we cycle through in the group.  The first is a mindfulness module, which is brief and returned to between each of the other modules.  The focus of this module is increasing nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment.  The other modules are emotion regulation (i.e., promoting emotional awareness and developing effective ways to manage difficult emotions), interpersonal effectiveness (i.e., building and maintaining satisfying relationships), and distress tolerance (i.e., strategies to deal with crisis situations and the intense emotions that accompany them).

Who runs the Psychologist Specialists of Maine DBT groups?

Dr. Kate White: Dr. White’s facilitates the Monday and Tuesday DBT groups. Dr. White’s training in DBT began during her pre-doctoral internship as a co-leader of DBT skills groups in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The DBT approach provided a useful skills-based addition to her generally integrative-psychodynamic approach to working with clients experiencing chronic emotion dysregulation and personality disorders.  Kate went on to help develop, implement, and supervise trainees in a new DBT program at a community mental health clinic in Madison, WI.  Kate earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, ME.  She returned to Maine to teach at Bates College in 2015 and joined Psychology Specialists of Maine in 2016.

Dr. Michelle Kanga: Dr. Kanga facilitates the Wednesday DBT skills group. Dr. Kanga’s training in DBT began during her graduate school as a co-leader of outpatient and intensive outpatient DBT skills groups at the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center in Lawrence, Kansas. The DBT approach provided a useful skills-based addition to her integrative approach to working with clients experiencing a variety of mental health disorders. Michelle went on to help develop, implement, and supervise trainees in a DBT-based emotion regulation group at a mental health clinic at University of Kansas. She also led a DBT-based skills group at the Togus VA in Maine. Michelle earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kansas and is a honors graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. She joined Psychology Specialists of Maine in 2017 after completing post doctoral training at the Togus VA hospital in Maine.

Download our referral form here and fax to our office at 207-607-4048.