Has a school counselor or your pediatrician suggested DBT for your son or daughter?

Read on to learn more about how this extensively researched and clinically effective intervention could help with your family’s concerns.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, is a structured therapy technique developed by psychologist Marsha Linehan to combat emotional difficulties that include but are not limited to severe anxiety, self-harm, and the emotional volatility common in many personality disorders. This type of therapy is done in both individual and group settings. DBT helps people identify the strengths, thoughts, beliefs, and the habitual assumptions that they have which are making their lives harder. The focus of DBT therapy is the development of specific mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. A DBT Skills Group meets once a week to work on specific goals aimed at learning to experience emotions in less extreme ways and with less behavioral reactivity.

The program teaches the participants how to be more mindful and how to focus their mind and attention in order to yield effective results. It also focuses on distress tolerance and accepting current situations, while finding new ways to survive and tolerate them without engaging in problematic behavior. Learning to identify current emotions, the obstacles to changing those emotions, and reducing emotional reactivity make up the skills obtained via healthy emotional regulation. The skills obtained in interpersonal effectiveness will better equip the participant with strategies such as asking for help, learning how to say no, and coping with interpersonal conflict. A new skill will be introduced each week. Practice work is sent home to reinforce the new skill. Follow up care will be provided by individual therapists.

  Video Credit:UCSF

Our last DBT skills groups took place on Sunday, Oct 29, 2017. Call us for information about schedules for upcoming classes.  A tween/young teenage group and a late teen/young adult age group usually run for 8 weeks.  Please call us to discuss your needs. Our therapists are happy to explore with you if one of these groups might fit your child’s needs.  Call us at 240-252-3349  to speak with Nicole Beane, LCSW-C (ext. 806).