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DBT for Teens


DBT changes lives!

Does your teen…

  • Often experience “bad” or “upset” emotions without knowing the cause?
  • Experience a wide range of emotions without knowing how to regulate them?
  • Let their emotions often get the best of them, leading them to do something they later regret?
  • Constantly experiencing self-doubt about their image or appearance?
  • Generally experience negative emotions?
  • Struggle with self-worth?
  • Cope with their emotions positively?
  • Constantly avoiding discussing their feelings, or shutting down?
  • Find themselves in self-destructive behaviors such as self-harming?
  • Tend to ignore their own needs or happiness, but focus on making others happy?
  • Find themselves to be lonely or have feelings of being misunderstood?
  • Tend to struggle socially – becoming friends with others who don’t treat them fairly, or having very intense relationships quickly?
  • Constantly worried or anxious?
  • Have issues with standing up for themselves?
  • Seem anxious, either caused by a specific trigger or for seemingly no reason?
  • Struggling with communication with family, peers, teachers?

If you answered “yes” to two or more (2+) of these questions, DBT may be the right option for your teen!

Your teen will learn how to…

  • Learn and be able to recognize how their emotions work so they will understand how to respond to them without negatively reacting or intensifying a situation with self-destructive behaviors.
  • Build and maintain positive relationships with friends, family, and peers without intense emotions overpowering the relationships by communicating more effectively.
  • Become more confident in their ability to seek assistance when they are overwhelmed with life’s pressure and lean how to turn down others when peer pressure is too intense.
  • Discover how to mindfully and fully enjoy each moment of the teen years, even when the school work has piled up and the future is one leap away… because learning to be happy and form good habits now informs how your teen will enter into the world from this point forward.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectal behavior therapy (DBT) is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), designed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, to help with emotional instability, otherwise known as “dysregulation”, which can lead to impulsive, self-destructive, or self-harming behaviors. The overall goal of DBT is to teach clients skills that will help them to understand their emotions and how to mange those emotions to change their targeted behaviors in order to live a happier life.

Skills involved in DBT:

Dialectical Behavior Therapy includes 5 categories of skills.  Group participants are introduced to specific DBT skills including Mindfulness, Middle Path, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Mindfulness Skills:  These skills help us to be aware in the present moment to what is going on inside and outside of us.  Mindfulness helps us increase awareness, attention, and control over our thoughts and behaviors.

Distress Tolerance Skills: When we feel overwhelmed with distress, what can we do to tolerate the pain until things shift (and they always do shift)?  Distress Tolerance Skills help us get through difficult situations without making the problem worse.

Emotion Regulation Skills: What can we do to identify and gain more control over our emotions? Emotions serve important purposes; these skills help us regulate our intense emotions. Another way to say this is “these skills help us bring more balance to the big ups and downs of our feeling world.”

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: What skills do we need to build growth-fostering relationships?  These skills are the ones we need to ask for and get what we want. They also provide us with the tools to say “no” effectively.

Walking the Middle Path: Middle Path Skills help us to move beyond “either/or” thinking to “and/also” thinking.  Middle Path Skills help us find common ground and take actions that are effective.

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