Course Description

Charlie Swenson, MD

Therapist burnout is common, is even to be expected, among psychotherapists who work with individuals with severe and chronic emotion dysregulation.  Just as one must anticipate that a firefighter is likely to get burned during his or her career, so one should anticipate that a psychotherapist with these individuals will become emotionally dysregulated. In a sense, the therapist may develop a "circumscribed case of emotion dysregulation" with respect to a given patient.  If burnout is not detected and/or not understood, it can proceed to severe levels, even irreversible levels, before being detected or treated as such. The theory and treatment strategies from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) target emotional dysregulation, and help to understand, prevent, and treat syndromes of burnout.
In this presentation, Charlie Swenson will use case examples, exercises, and discussion, based on DBT's theory and practice, to identify causal and maintaining factors of burnout, and to propose a DBT-informed way to prevent and treat it.

Technical Requirements: You will need a computer with high-speed internet access and either a telephone or speakers/headset for audio to join the live sessions.


Charlie Swenson is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School, and has a private practice in Northampton, Massachusetts where he treats adults, adolescents, families, and couples.  He graduated from Harvard College, Yale Medical School, and Yale's Psychiatry Residency Program; then was an Associate Professor at Cornell Medical School for 14 years.  As a DBT expert, he trains therapists regularly in the United States and Europe. He has ongoing DBT Implementation projects in Italy and Sweden.  He has more than twenty published articles and book chapters on DBT and the treatment of borderline personality disorder.  He recently published a book, DBT Principles in Action: Change, Acceptance, and Dialectics (Guilford Press, 2016).  He began his work in psychotherapy in psychoanalytic training, worked with Otto Kernberg for many years before practicing DBT, and has published two articles on the relationship between DBT and psychodynamic models, including "Mentalization and Dialectical Behavior Therapy' in 2015.  In 1996 Dr. Swenson co-founded ISITDBT, the International Society for Implementation and Training of DBT, and was the first recipient of the Cindy Sanderson Outstanding Educator Award given by ISITDBT in 2004.  He received the Alfred Stanton Award from McLean Hospital in 2015.

CE Credit: The Evidence-Based Practice Institute (EBPI) is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. EBPI maintains responsibility for the program and its content. EBPI has allocated 1.5 CE credits for this webinar within APA guidelines.  After attending the webinar and completing a course evaluation form, a CE certificate will be emailed to the attendee.


Registration Ends on:
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Cost: $45

Learning Objectives

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • List the steps involved in therapist burnout syndrome.
  • Describe the biosocial theory of burnout.
  • Explain the direct and indirect indicators of burnout.
  • Discuss concrete steps to prevent or treat burnout and strengthen your clinical team.



Please note: If you are not able to attend the session live, we will hopefully be making an On Demand version available within a few days of the talk. You'll be able to purchase that from our On Demand page. Those courses use a different system, so you only need to register now if you will be able to attend live.  Thanks!