Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skill Group





Dialectical behavior Therapy (DBT) has been adapted, studied, and found to be effective for helping adolescents dealing with multiple problems, including chronic difficulties with managing emotions, maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships, tolerating distress, and controlling impulses. While some adolescents require comprehensive DBT program, which includes individual therapy, phone coach, skills groups, and parent support, others simply require some life skills to help them cope better in the face of adversity. If you and your teen find yourself in the latter category, then attendance at a adolescent DBT Skills group may be a perfect fit.

Multi-family Skills Group

DBT Skills group focuses on teaching participants skills in mindfulness, tolerating painful emotions in difficult situations, interpersonal effectiveness, managing emotions, and walking the middle path. The highly structured, skill-oriented group for teens and their parent(s) takes place once per week and lasts one hour and forty five minutes. It has a class-like format with handouts, take-home exercises, and experiential activities, but there is no expectation that group members share information that is uncomfortable. Research has shown that caregivers’ involvement makes treatment more effective because caregivers learn to serve as coaches for their children and benefit from learning the skills themselves.

The Core Skills Taught in DBT

DBT is comprised of five core skills which are taught to teens and their parents.

Mindfulness: The ability to observe and experience the present moment without judgment.  Individuals learn to notice their emotions and to experience them—without always acting upon them.

Emotion Regulation: Helping teens and their caregivers learn behavioral and cognitive techniques for reducing their vulnerability to, and enhancing their ability to cope with, overwhelming emotion.

Distress Tolerance: Helping teens and their families learn ways to get through difficult moments without making impulsive decisions they may regret.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: Assertiveness and other communications skills are emphasized with the aim of helping individuals achieve their goals, maintain healthy relationships, and maintain their self-respect even after conflicts.

Walking the Middle Path: Learning to live a more balanced life and avoid the emotional and behavioral extremes that frequently lead to stress. 

Ready to join our Adolescent DBT Skills Group?

If your adolescent (ages 13-18) may benefit from DBT skills, please feel free to contact us for more information about our program.