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Couples DBT Skills Group

Day/Time:    Thursdays, 6:15 to 8:15 pm, Three 4 to 6 week modules. Module 2 starts January 4
Group size:   3-6 couples,
Cost:              $120/session + one-time fee for intake & assessment.
Insurance:    Documentation provided for out-of-network reimbursement
Status:          Taking new clients now for November 2
Info:              Email

Three modules. Take them all. Take just one. We’ll help you figure out what your relationship needs to move to the next level.

Is your relationship on the rocks (or headed that way)?  Start with Module 1 – Stop Making Things Worse!

Do you want to resolve your differences more effectively?  Say what you mean and mean what you say? Consider Module 2 – Managing Conflict Effectively

Do you want to increase friendship, closeness and intimacy?  Or maybe you want to reignite the spark that brought you together.  Consider Module 3 – Making It Last! 

Participating couples have all sorts of relationships — long-term relationships,, civil unions, marriage, cohabitation and domestic partnerships.  Couples include young and old, with and without children, same sex and heterosexual couples, and couples of all races and ethnicities..  All are welcome!, , .

Learn By Doing

Each module is four to six weeks and meets Thursdays from 6:15 to 8:15 pm.

In Couples DBT Skills Groups, you learn by doing with 2-3 experiential exercises each session.  We will ask you to choose an issue in “the Goldilocks zone” – not too hard, not too difficult — from the past week (only current issues allowed).

We will briefly instruct you how to use the skill and then you will apply the skill to your issue.  A discussion follows each exercise to identify lessons learned and troubleshoot problems.  You don’t have to share anything with the group that you don’t want to share.

Getting The Skills Right

Therapists coach you to use the skills effectively.  In Modules 1 and 2, each couple has their own therapist to help you notice ineffective habits and replace them with effective skills.  Class size is capped at three couples. In Module 3, each therapist coaches two couples. Class size is capped at six couples.

What You Learn

Module 1: Stop Making Things Worse
Up to three couples for six weeks

Couples have to learn to stop making things worse before they can make things better. In this six week module, you will learn and practice skills to notice when your emotions are getting the better of you and to regulate your own emotions. You will learn to halt emotional crises in their tracks, stop invalidating and use basic rules of engagement.

You will learn and practice the basics of mindful listening, validation and constructive engagement. You will cover four ways to de-escalate growing tension, graceful exits and effective repairs. Finally, you will learn and practice ridding your relationship of destructive criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.

Module 2: Managing Conflict Effectively
Up to three couples for six weeks

Conflict happens in all relationships.  In this six week module, you will go into greater depth with the basic skills learned in Module 1, learning to put skills together in more challenging exercises. Instead of us telling you what skills to use, you will figure out for yourselves what skills are needed.

You will identify what skills to use when differences are resolvable and when chronic problems seem intransigent. We teach the difference between being effective and being right and how to accept annoying behaviors without going crazy,

You will learn how to say what you mean and mean what you say — even when tensions are running high.  We’ll help you notice and adjust your tone of voice, facial expressions and body language that contribute to conflict.

Module 3: Making It Last
Up to six couples for four weeks

It’s not enough to decrease the negatives in your relationship. To make it last, you have to increase the positives as well. In this four-week module, you will learn and practice noticing when your partner is seeking your full attention and how to respond effectively. You will take basic communication skills and practice using them to connect in a more meaningful way with your partner.  Finally, you will learn and practice ways to strengthen your friendship, add new meaning and purpose and deepen closeness and intimacy in your lives together.

How We Assess

Experienced STLDBT couples therapists will assess your relationship using the Gottman Relationship Checkup (an online assessment), individual interviews and observation of a difficult interaction. Based on the information gathered, the Couples DBT Assessment Team will make a recommendation to you and set requirements, as needed for which modules you need.

All couples who participate in the Couples DBT Skills Group modules will be required to put discussion of divorce or separation on hold for the duration of the module(s) they take.  Modules are not suitable for couples where there has been physical or sexual violence in the last three months.

The Assessment Team at its discretion may require one or both partners to  be in individual therapy concurrent with participation in Couples DBT Skills Group modules if the individual has a mood, anxiety or personality disorder that affects the relationship.

What It Costs

You will be billed  $120 per session on your credit or debit card.  An optional $100 deposit holds your spot in the next module.  Deposits are nonrefundable but will be applied to the cost of the next module.

Statements are provided monthly so you can file for out of network benefits for family therapy.

There is a one-time assessment fee of $150.  Assessment includes a 1.5 hour in-person assessment and the online Gottman Relationship Checkup.


Meet The Therapists

Sandra Miller, MSW, LCSW


Sandra Miller, MSW, LCSW works with couples in all types of relationships as well as individuals with depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder at St Louis DBT. In addition to extensive experience and training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), she has a 21-credit post-graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy and is trained at Level 2 in the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy.  Prior to joining STLDBT, she worked with people with all types of mental illness and people who had experienced childhood sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence.


Paige Lynch, MA, LPC


Paige Lynch, MA, LPC specializes in working with families, couples, and individuals who are struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and anxiety, and managing intense emotions. She is a contracted therapist with St. Louis DBT and owns her own practice, Lynch Counseling, LLC. She has completed over 40 hours of advanced training in DBT and suicide assessment. Paige has been a practicing clinician for 5 years, four of which have involved extensive work with families and couples. She enjoys helping others find their path toward peaceful living with healthy and loving relationships. …



Call 314.932.7415 or email us for your free consultation. smartphone-SMALL

Our experienced therapists will give you a warm welcome as you begin work toward your therapy goals. Call us today!


Adult DBT Skills Group, Wednesdays, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm.  Join now!

Adult DBT Skills Group, Mondays, 4:00 – 5:30 pm.  Join now!

Third Saturday Intensive Skills Group. Third Saturday each month, 8:30 - 3:30. Join now!

Young Adult DBT Skills Group, Fridays, 3:00 - 4:30 pm. Join now!

DBT Substance Use Disorders, Mondays, 6:00 - 7:30 pm.  Register now for February 2018.

Teen DBT Skills Group (ages 15-19), Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 pm. Register now for January 2018.

Couples DBT Skills Group, Thursdays 6:15 - 8::15 pm. Register now for March 2018!

Teen & Parent DBT Skills Group, Thursdays, 4:30-6 pm,  Join now!

Advanced DBT Skills Group. Join now for January 2018!

Mindfulness & Acceptance for Social Anxiety and Shyness. Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm. Register now for February 21.

Mindful Way Through Depression.  Wednesdays, 6:15 - 8:15 pm. Register now for May 2018.

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