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Our Adolescent DBT Program

CBT/DBT Associates offer a comprehensive DBT program for adolescents ages 14 to 17 and their parents. This program is geared towards relatively high-functioning adolescents in grades 9 through 12 for whom day treatment would be inappropriate. As such, clients must be attending school full-time. The DBT Program at CBT/DBT Associates is not appropriate for individuals with a psychotic spectrum diagnosis, or for those who are court-mandated for treatment.

Components of Adolescent DBT

This is a short-term (18 week) intensive program consisting of:

1) Weekly individual DBT sessions

  • Use behavior analysis to identify and better understand the adolescent’s problem behaviors
  • Identify effective coping skills for managing intense emotions and impulsive behaviors
  • Problem solve difficulties using new skills or obstacles to treatment adherence
  • Provide emotional support

2) Weekly Multifamily Skills Group

Adolescents and their parents attend a weekly DBT skills group where they will learn skills to improve emotion regulation and decrease problem behaviors. This group covers the following skills training modules:

  • Mindfulness
  • Emotion regulation
  • Distress tolerance
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Walking the middle path

Mastery of the skills may require repetition of the cycle. For this reason, families will have the opportunity to continue skills training at the conclusion of the 16-week cycle to repeat the five skills training modules.

Learn more about Adolescent Multifamily Skills Group here.

We are pleased to announce our new DBT Graduate Group for adolescents (8th-12th grade)! This once weekly 90-minute group is for adolescents who have completed a Multifamily Skills Group and would like to continue working on integrating those skills into their daily lives. Learn more about Adolescent Graduate Group here.

3) Phone Coaching

Adolescents are able to contact their individual therapist 7 days a week by phone for coaching in skills application. This phone coaching is intended to help in the generalization of skills. Phone coaching is not intended for crisis intervention.

4) Consultation to Schools and other Health Professionals

Individual therapists will work closely with schools, psychiatrists, and other physicians to ensure coordination of services. We are also able to provide referrals to local child and adolescent psychiatrists.

What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a multi-component treatment developed by Marsha M. Linehan to treat problems in emotion regulation. It balances the use of change techniques from cognitive-behavior therapy with acceptance strategies. It is designed to address skill deficits in affect regulation, impulse control, assertiveness, and distress tolerance. In adolescents, these issues commonly present as:

  • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Impulsive/disruptive behaviors
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • School refusal/truancy
  • Eating disordered behaviors
  • Anger management difficulties
  • Persistent peer conflict
  • Mood swings
  • Suicidality

To request a consultation for Adolescent DBT, please complete this form or call us at (212) 546-9200.