DBT in Schools: Administrators & Stakeholders Introduction to DBT STEPS-A 3-Hour Workshop (Virtual)

This workshop is designed for school administrators and key stakeholders serving grades 7-12 to provide a structured format in discussing implementation strategies for providing a structured social-emotional learning (SEL) class and the barriers to implementing in current school-based settings.

This half-day will provide a brief overview of what DBT STEPS-A is and its intended audience. Discussion of the current school structure, environment, and staff for potential implementation will take place. Finally, identified barriers, strategies, and use of upstream approaches will be discussed with a perspective of showing initial impact among students, teachers, staff, and the school environment.

Implementing a social emotional curriculum requires the support and understanding of administrators in order to assist staff in teaching an SEL class and ultimately, shifting the culture of schools to one that educates the whole child, both academically and emotionally.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn implementation strategies, and upstream approaches for providing a structured SEL class
  2. Explore the barriers to implementing SEL in current school-based settings
  3. Gain a basic understanding of what DBT STEPS-A is and its intended audience
  4. Discuss the current school structure, environment, and staff for potential DBT STEPS- A implementation

***PAA understands that this workshop falls on a Saturday, during off-contract hours, so to show our appreciation for you taking the time to attend this workshop, PAA will be offering an Incentive in the amount of $100 for each person who attends and completes the entire 3-hour workshop. For more information on this process, please email Melissa Cole at: mkaetzel@preventionactionalliance.org.

The total number of participants will be limited to 90. Please see our events page for additional DBT in Schools Trainings if this session becomes full.


Elizabeth T. Dexter-Mazza, PsyD

Dr. Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza

Dr. Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza is a certified DBT therapist and co-author of the DBT STEPS-A social emotional learning curriculum for middle and high school students. She received her doctoral degree from the School of Professional Psychology at Pacific University in 2004 and completed her predoctoral internship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center’s Adolescent Depression and Suicide Program. Lizz completed her postdoctoral fellowship under the direction of Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington. Lizz is a licensed psychologist and owner of both Mazza Consulting & Psychological Services, LLC and DBT in Schools, LLC. She provides training and consultation to mental health providers and schools around the world.


James J. Mazza, Ph.D.

Dr. James Mazza

Dr. James J. Mazza is the co-author of the DBT STEPS-A social emotional learning curriculum for middle and high school students. He received his masters and Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He is a professor at the University of Washington – Seattle where he has been teaching and conducting research over the past 25 years in the field of adolescent mental health. Jim is the past president of the American Association of Suicidology from 2005-2007 and is still actively involved in trying to help school psychologists play a major role in helping to prevent suicidal and self-harming behavior among students. His current research focuses on the implementation of DBT STEPS-A (Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents). Jim has also developed two college-level courses that focus on resilience and wellness. Jim continues to expand the use of DBT STEPS-A and is in the development of providing a new curriculum designed for elementary students.