This interactive online course teaches practical concepts and strategies that you can use in challenging therapy situations. It helps expand your clinical skillset and enhances your knowledge so you feel grounded and effective in complex therapy situations, and aids in resiliency against reactivity and burnout.

Conducting psychotherapy creates the potential for reactive and nonempathic behavior in even the most compassionate therapy providers. This course reviews principles and application of mindfulness and other dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills, the utility of incorporating developmental and psychodynamic concepts into the treatment of challenging cases, and much more.

Course assignments include online lectures, readings, interactive discussion forums, and weekly conference calls with faculty and other participants. All course content is 100% mobile-friendly so you can participate whenever your schedule allows.

Course materials are available beginning August 3, 2020 and all course work must be completed by September 11, 2020. New course assignments are released each week, and you can finish the preceding week's materials at any time to unlock the next week's materials.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of returning to common factors in psychotherapy when cases get stuck
  • Compare Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic Therapy using the Y Model
  • Explain CBT strategies of cognitive restructuring and chain analysis
  • Describe Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other "Third Wave" therapies
  • Discuss principles of mindfulness and other DBT skills
  • Describe the importance of validation and dialectics
  • Apply mindfulness and other DBT skills
  • Utilize developmental and psychodynamic concepts when treating challenging cases


Participants must complete each week sequentially and while completing all components of each week to receive credit, including:

  • Activity Overview
  • Video Lecture
  • Reading and Resources (required and optional)
  • Q&A with Faculty
  • Discussion Board
  • Case Assessment

Session 1

Introduction and Common Elements of Psychotherapy

Key Points:

  • Discuss treatment frame and boundaries
  • Define and provide examples of limits in therapy
  • Review principles of case formulation and goal setting
  • Discuss the importance of the therapeutic alliance and a nonjudgmental lens
  • Review differences between Psychodynamic and CBT according to the Y Model
  • Define psychotherapy integration by expansion

Session 2

DBT and other Third Wave Therapies

Key Points:

  • Summarize CBT concepts of cognitive restructuring and chain analysis
  • Review acceptance based strategies added to CBT
  • Summarize mindfulness based Third Wave therapies

Session 3

Mindfulness and other DBT skills

Key Points:

  • Summarize the definition and utility of mindfulness in clinical practice
  • Discuss the importance of validation and dialectics
  • Review DBT skills: Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation

Session 4

Developmental and Psychodynamic Therapies

Key Points:

  • Discuss ways that concepts from Developmental and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy can enhance awareness and foster effective therapy
  • Review the unconscious, ambivalence, and advantages of shifting to process
  • Highlight the importance of using a developmental lens
  • Discuss concept of defenses
  • Review dynamically informed applications of mindfulness


  • Director, Dialectical Behavior Therapy program
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
  • Director, Dialectical Behavior Therapy program
    Chief Psychologist, Inpatient Psychiatry Service
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
  • Associate Director, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
    Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Target Audience

This program is intended for:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • General and Family Practice Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Residents
  • Fellows


Physicians and Doctoral-level Professionals: $395.00
Other Professionals: $295.00

Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be issued for cancellation requests made during the first week of the course, but an administrative fee of $25.00 will be deducted from your refund. Cancellation requests made during the second week will receive a credit toward a future offering of the same course. No refunds or credits will be granted after August 21, 2020.

Q&A with Faculty

Week Start Date

Date of Q&A

Time of Q&A

Faculty Name

Week 1: 08/03/2020



Michelle Jacobo, Ph.D.

Week 2: 08/10/2020



Ellen Prairie, Ph.D.

Week 3: 08/17/2020



Rebecca Harley, Ph.D.

Week 4: 08/24/2020



Michelle Jacobo, Ph.D.

Additional Online Courses

We offer several online courses on cognitive behavioral therapy that complement the course you are currently viewing.

View our online CBT course offerings

CME Information

Release Date:August 3, 2020
Expiration Date:September 25, 2020






AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. McLean Hospital is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

McLean Hospital designates this enduring material for a maximum of 10.5AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Psychologists CE Credits

The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This offering meets the criteria for 10.5 continuing education credits for psychologists.


Nursing Contact Hours

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 13, sections 13, 14, 14A, 15 and 15D and Chapter 112, sections 74 through 81C authorize the Board of Registration in Nursing to regulate nursing practice and education.

This program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing at (244 CMR 5.00) for 10.5 contact hours of nursing continuing education credit.Advance practice nurses, please note: Educational activities which meet the requirements of the ACCME (such as this activity) count towards 50% of the nursing requirement for ANCC accreditation.


Social Work CE Credit Hours

The Collaborative of NASW, Boston College, and Simmons College Schools of Social Work authorizes social work continuing education credits for courses, workshops, and educational programs that meet the criteria outlined in 258 CMR of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Social Workers.

This program has been approved for 10.5 Social Work Continuing Education hours forrelicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. Collaborative of NASW and the Boston Collegeand Simmons Schools of Social Work Authorization Number D71371.



Other Professions

Other Providers can claim a Participation Certificate upon successful completion of this course.

Participation Certificates will specify the title, location, type of activity, date of activity, and number of AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM associated with the activity. Providers should check with their regulatory agencies to determine ways in which AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM may or may not fulfill continuing education requirements. Providers should also consider saving copies of brochures, agenda, and other supporting documents.


David H. Rubin, MD
Jane Pimental, MPH
Susan E. Sprich, PhD,psychologist reviewer, moderator
Rebecca Harley, PhD
Michelle C. Jacobo, PhD

Disclosure Information

In accord with the disclosure policy of McLean Hospital as well as guidelines set forth by the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education, all people in control of educational content, including speakers, course directors, planners, and reviewers, have been asked to disclose all relevant financial relationships with commercial interests of both themselves and their spouses/partners over the past 12 months, as defined below:

Commercial Interest

The ACCME defines a "commercial interest" as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. For more information, visit

Financial relationships

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

Relevant financial relationships

ACCME focuses on financial relationships with commercial interests in the 12-month period preceding the time that the individual is being asked to assume a role controlling content of the CME activity. ACCME has not set a minimal dollar amount for relationships to be significant. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship. The ACCME defines "'relevant' financial relationships" as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

Conflict of Interest

Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.

The following planners, speakers, and content reviewers, on behalf of themselves and their spouse or partner, have reported financial relationships with an entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services (relevant to the content of this activity) consumed by, or used on, patients:

Susan E. Sprich, PhD,Psychologist Reviewer, Moderator
Royalties:Oxford University Press (for co-authoring treatment manual and client workbook), Springer (for co-editing book)

All other individuals including course directors, planners, reviewers, faculty, staff, etc., who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity have, on behalf of themselves and their spouse or partner, reported no financial relationships related to the content of this activity.

Policy on Faculty and Provider Disclosure

It is the policy of McLean Hospital that faculty and providers disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity. McLean Hospital has established policies in place that identify and resolve all conflicts of interest prior to this educational activity.

Hardware/Software Specifications

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+
Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+
Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+
Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

Windows PC:500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

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