DBT programs consisting of four essential components

  1. Individual Therapy Sessions – 50 mins per week

  2. Group Skills Training – 2 hrs per week

  3. Telephone Coaching – as needed

  4. Therapist Consultation Team

Searchlight Psychology offers a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Program for the Cairns region.





Adult Program (18yrs+)


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based cognitive-behavioural therapy that was originally developed for people suffering from ongoing suicidal thoughts, self-harm behaviours, severe emotion dysregulation and in particular for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It has now been proven to be effective in treating people with a wide range of disorders and problems related to emotion dysregulation and associated cognitive and behavioural patterns. Searchlight Psychology offers the gold standard in DBT programs which consists of four essential elements.










Participants are expected to attend an initial 2-6 individual sessions before entering the group component of the program and individual sessions occur weekly in conjunction with group skills training. Initial sessions are for the purpose of assessment and intake and to develop commitment to participating in the program.


We accept referrals from practitioners as well as self-referral. We encourage interested participants and their support persons to come in to Searchlight Psychology for a free 30 min information session prior to enrolment in the program.



The DBT Skills Program is 24 weeks in duration (6mths) and consists of four modules –


Mindfulness - 6 weeks. This is a core component of DBT and interwoven throughout the course of the program. Individuals are taught present moment awareness and how to non-judgementally attend to reality through observing, describing and participating.


Interpersonal Effectiveness - 6 weeks. This module teaches assertive communication strategies and individuals are taught how to obtain objectives while maintaining healthy relationships and self-respect.


Emotion Regulation - 6 weeks. Participants learn emotional literacy and regulation training and learn to understand their emotions, change unwanted emotions, reduce vulnerability to emotional reactivity and manage extreme emotions.


Distress Tolerance - 6 weeks. This module consists of crisis survival skills. Participants learn acceptance skills, finding meaning in crisis, and learn to effectively tolerate stressful events and situations.


It is recommended that participants complete two rounds (12mths) of the skills training to achieve the maximum benefit of the program. We accept referrals ongoing and there are 6 group intakes at varying intervals throughout the calendar year. To refer yourself or someone you know please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.



Our DBT program is a private therapeutic service and is subject to fees. Individual therapy sessions and Group Therapy sessions may be eligible for Medicare rebates with a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan.


24 Week Program: $2400

Individual Therapy: $160


Fees for the group are required to be paid in full prior to starting skills training and are non-refundable. Payment plans, Medicare and DVA rebates are available for eligible participants.

 Individual sessions are additional to the cost of the group and are paid as attended on a weekly basis.


The Program requires a commitment to attend group skills once a week and is held after hours every Thursday 5.30-7.30pm. 



Ph: 07 4221 2928

Fax: 07 4221 1972


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