Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Certification and Accreditation Association (DBTNCAA) is a non-profit organization that specializes in the certification of DBT providers and the accreditation of DBT programs.


Please check this section if you have questions about DBTNCAA:


How can I monitor outcomes with my clients??

Outcome measures for clients can be searched at www.pearsonassessments.com. DBTNCAA also highly recommends the Partners for Change Outcomes Management System (PCOMS) that consists of the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and Session Rating Scale (SRS). These brief, reliable, and valid rating scales and the research that supports them can be found at www.heartandsoulofchange.com. PCOMS is also listed as an evidence-based practice by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Using clinical outcome procedures is an important part of evidence-based practice and a requirement of DBT certification.

How does certification relate to competency??

Competency in psychology, including a specialty such as DBT, is a life-long pursuit and not a black or white construct (i.e., competent versus not competent). Competency relates to training to acquire relevant professional and scientific knowledge, experience with the appropriate supervision and/or consultation to acquire professional skills, and the ability to recognize one’s limits of competency, signaling the need for further training, experience, supervision, consultation, or to refer the client on to another professional.

Competency requires continued professional growth through ongoing evaluation of one’s competencies along with continued education and practice.
Certification verifies that benchmarks in training and experience have occurred, but declaring a competency in DBT should be carefully evaluated by providers in light of their total education, training, and experience guided by established ethical guidelines and codes of conduct. In other words, no test, work sample, evaluation, or certification process can claim to definitively verify one’s competence.

Do I need to be certified to practice DBT or to be reimbursed for those services??

Certification is a voluntary process and individual DBT providers do not currently need to be certified to practice DBT. In some places there is a certification process for DBT programs that is required to use specific billing codes for DBT programming. In the future, certain States or HMOs may require that providers be certified or programs accredited in order to be reimbursed for certain DBT services.

How could certification benefit me??

Certification demonstrates that you have met clear and established guidelines of training and experience in DBT. Many providers take pride in developing a specialty in particular approaches, and obtaining a certification is one way to emphasize and give credibility to those efforts. For some, certification may help to distinguish themselves in the DBT marketplace.

Certification may also increase employment marketability as many mental health settings look for providers who have distinguished themselves with focused training and development in sought-after treatments. Certification highlights professional development and may be a means of demonstrating goal obtainment for both personal and professional reasons.

How could certification benefit my clients??

Many clients benefit from knowing that their providers have verified training and experience in DBT. An added feeling of confidence in providers may increase belief and expectancy that the treatment is effective.

Further, DBTNCAA’s emphasis on monitoring outcomes and adjusting treatment based on that data keeps you focused on what is most important: being effective with your clients in your setting one at a time.

Is this certification connected to Marsha Linehan and her training company Behavioral Tech??

DBTNCAA is not associated with Dr. Linehan, her training company, or her other affiliations.

Where do I get the training to be DBT certified??

DBTNCAA recognizes training from regionally and nationally accredited universities as well as approved continuing education courses and workshops. DBTNCAA collaborates with PESI for training via live seminars, webcasts, and DVD trainings in DBT, Mindfulness, and related topics. Training opportunities can be searched at www.pesi.com.

How can I find DBT consultation or supervision??

DBTNCAA requires weekly consultation with at least one other licensed professional as a best practice. Although DBT consultation is preferred, it is not a requirement to be DBT specific. Of course, if a provider is a part of a bona fide DBT program, then that program will have DBT specific consultation as part of the model.

DBT consultation or supervision can be found through professional networking or through connecting with other DBTNCAA members to form consultative relationships. Although in-person consultation is preferred, consultation via phone or secure internet works too.

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