Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving

Diane Clare

The STEPPS Program was designed by Nancee Blum, Prof Don Black, *et al from University of Iowa and is a program that has shown to be helpful when provided in addition to other treatments for Borderline Personality Disorder, such as individual psychotherapy or medication treatment

The program’s goal is to educate people with Borderline Personality Disorder about their diagnosis and to help them acquire skills to deal with different aspects of the disorder.  The content is taught to people in a group format that is much like a seminar or workshop. Random Controlled Trials indicate it is highly effective in helping people with emotional intensity difficulties including those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

It is a practical skills-based approach drawing on cognitive behaviour therapy principles and teaches a range of strategies to assist with emotion regulation in particular.  This 2-day workshop provides an overview of basic elements, practice core skills and overview of the overall group approach.

Many practitioners have said that the skills learned in this workshop have been useful to apply to a wider range of clients than solely to those with borderline personality e.g. people with emotional intensity problems or impulse control problems.

Please Note: Delegates must have considerable professional experience working with clients with BPD, hold a suitable professional qualification, or have attended the one-day Skills For Working with BPD Workshop prior.

(*Nancee Blum, M.S.W., Don St. John, M.A., P.A.C., Bruce Pfohl, M.D., Scott Stuart, M.D., Brett McCormick, M.A., Jeff Allen, Ph.D., Stephan Arndt, Ph.D., and Donald W. Black, M.D. )


Learning Outcomes:

STEPPS interventions have been shown to be very effective in helping people manage intense emotions, unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving, as well as providing hope and positive engagement in making positive changes in their lives. Feedback from clinicians and service users indicates that the programme is accessible, popular and easy to implement.

Delivered via Zoom, the two-day training program provides an overview of basic elements of STEPPS, practice core skills and an overview of the overall group approach. It is specific training for clinical staff who can then embed this approach in care plans.

The first day in itself is appropriate awareness training for team leaders to support the implementation of STEPPS within a service.  This is however a 2-day workshop so attendance at both days is required.


The workshop will provide:

  • A full overview and understanding of the STEPPS approach.
  • Opportunity to practice some of the core strategies in the STEPPS approach.
  • Maximising the impact of STEPPS for the service user.
  • Consideration of how this fits the overall care plan.
  • Discussion about how to adapt the approach for cultural needs.
  • Setting up a whanau session for supporting the service user.
  • Readiness to return for a further 1-day session on how to set up a STEPPS group*

*The follow-up additional day (3rd day of training) is designed for those who have already completed the STEPPS 2-day workshop and it offers a session by session practical day on the nuts and bolts of the group from selection, to session plans and outcome measures.


When: 2 days dates to be confirmed. please contact us to register your interest.

Where: Online via Zoom

Cost: $483 inc GST. The price stated is per person. If you are sending 5 or more delegates, please email Faye for a discounted rate.

Contact: Faye  [email protected]

> register online


Q About Diane

BA, MA (Hons), Dip. Clin. Psych., AFBPS
Memberships: NZCCP, MNZAP, ISSTD
Accredited Practitioner in EMDR and is a member of the EMDRNZ Board.

Diane Clare is a registered clinical psychologist who trained at the University of Canterbury. Diane has worked in mental health and counselling services since 1981, first as a grief counsellor then as a psychotherapist, before becoming registered as a psychologist in 1993. She has worked in leadership and Director level roles across a range of services in both NZ and the UK including primary care, adult mental health, forensic, intellectual disability and tertiary student services.

While in the UK in 2005 she developed the Alternatives to Self-Harm programme and has presented her work internationally since 2012. Diane is a seasoned presenter and provides a range of workshop options with an emphasis on practical solutions for clinical staff. She has a specialist interest in working with people recovering from the effects of complex trauma.

Q Who Should Attend

In addition to therapists and MH professionals in both primary and secondary level care, this workshop is also for front-line staff with no, or little psychological training, who may be struggling with how to work with these clients.

It is suitable for those working in social services, health and law enforcement, including:

- Emergency Room staff, Crisis Telephone Helpline staff
- School counsellors and teaching staff
- Community mental health staff
- Police and Probation Officers
- Youth justice counsellors
- Key Workers, Unit Managers, Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers
- General Practitioners
- Psychologists & Psychiatrists RTLB, Therapists, and Licensed Practising Counsellors

It will particularly suit those in NFP’s, community-based outreach services, community organisations, and those working with specific groups including young people or people with comorbid substance use.