DBT for Adolescents

Adolescent Dialectic Behavioral Therapy

Our comprehensive adolescent and family DBT program is for individuals ages 12-18. The adolescent DBT program includes individual therapy for the teen, as well as a skills training class with the teen and at least one parent or caregiver. It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the full program (a “cycle” of DBT takes six months to complete, although clients often opt for a second cycle to further solidify their skills knowledge).

In our Adolescent DBT program, teens and their families learn the skills together in a group format. Research has found that when the parents or caregivers participate in the skills training it improves the outcome for the adolescent, as it allows the family to learn a common vocabulary, use the skills themselves and support their teen in their skillful behavior.

What You Will Learn:

Families will learn Mindfulness skills to help them increase their ability to control their attention, enhance focus, feel more connected to reality, and reduce emotional and psychological suffering. Families will learn Distress Tolerance skills to better be able to tolerate intense emotions and/or “crises” to avoid acting on maladaptive or ineffective, self-destructive urges. Interpersonal Effectiveness skills will allow clients to practice asking for what they want more effectively, and/or learn how to say “no” without alienating themselves or others. Emotion Regulation skills teach clients to turn negative emotions in to positive or neutral ones, reduce the occurrence of intense emotional crises and build lives worth living. And finally, families will learn Walking the Middle Path skills to better improve communication around typical points of conflict in the home, increase validation and understanding and decrease fighting.

Our comprehensive Adolescent DBT program includes: 

  • Individual DBT therapy (one or more times per week)
  • Skills training class with the teen and at least one adult on a weekly basis
  • Brief between-session consultation with your therapist
  • Therapist consultation team for the therapist
  • Behavioral parent training and family meetings as needed
  • Consultation with school and other providers as needed
  • Consultation with psychiatrists and other providers as needed