DBT for Adolescents

Adolescent Dialectic Behavioral Therapy

Comprehensive DBT-A

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 parent or caregiver on a weekly basis
  • Brief between-session consultation with your therapist
  • Therapist consultation team for the therapist
  • Behavioral parent/caregiver training and family meetings as needed
  • Consultation with school and other providers as needed
  • Consultation with psychiatrists and other providers as needed

Intensive Outpatient Program: L.I.V.E.  

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 An Intensive Adolescent DBT Program 

Welcome to the L.I.V.E. program at Behavioral Psych Studio! We are excited to welcome you to the “family” and look forward to helping your teen and family create “Lives Worth Living.” The L.I.V.E program is an intensive, outpatient program that takes 8 weeks to complete. The L.I.V.E program meets 3x weekly for 3 hours per day. The program takes place Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4-7pm and is virtual, for now. The staff at the L.I.V.E. program meet weekly to collaborate on cases and ensure we are providing the most effective care. Families in the program will experience a more “intimate” DBT experience and receive support from a variety of clinicians to help scaffold better communication, improved understanding of your teen’s behaviors, and more effective responses to unwanted, dangerous, or ineffective behaviors. It emphasizes skills for the parents and caregivers as well as the teens. The admission to our L.I.V.E. program is on a rolling basis, and new families can enter the program every Monday, if they have completed the intake prior to that start date. 

The L.I.V.E. program was designed to meet the needs of adolescents and their families who:  

  • Have been doing standard outpatient treatment (DBT or otherwise) and don’t feel it is enough support
  • Are being discharged from a higher level of care (residential or partial hospitalization program) and would like more support as they transition 
  • Would like a condensed experience of DBT to “jump start” their teen’s treatment 

The L.I.V.E. program includes:  

  • 3 x weekly DBT Skills groups for the teen 
  • 2 x weekly individual sessions with the teen 
  • 1 x weekly Parent & Caregiver DBT Skills group 
  • 1 x weekly Skills rehearsal group 
  • 1 x weekly Cope Ahead for the Weekend group 
  • 1 x weekly rotating specialty topic group (which can include, and is not limited to, substance abuse, eating disordered behaviors, gender-affirming care, additional mindfulness training, psychoeducation about trauma and/or other co-occurring disorders, such as OCD, Anxiety or ADHD).

*Phone coaching for the teen  

*Family therapy as indicated/recommended by the clinician. 

Prior to admission to the program, we will do a brief (15 min) phone screen to determine if the L.I.V.E. program will meet your teen’s needs.