Originally Published in the Lakelands Leader in our Laudable life advice column

Q:  I have a teenage daughter with significant emotional issues. Her friendships at school can be so short-lived I have a hard time keeping track of who’s in and who’s out from week to week.  Our relationship is quite volatile as well; there’s a lot of storming upstairs and slamming doors or sobbing at the drop of a hat.  Her father has been giving her a wide berth lately so I feel like it is all falling on me. I’m truly out of my depth on this one. Her pediatrician suggested a DBT skills group. Can you tell me what DBT is, who it is supposed to help, and how?

A:  Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT, is a structured therapy for 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 their strengths, thoughts and beliefs, and the habitual assumptions they have that are making their life harder. The main focus of DBT therapy is the development of specific mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills.

Have additional questions or want to learn more? Visit our blog at KentlandsPsychotherapy.com or contact either Nicole Beane, LCSW-C at Kentlands Psychotherapy at 240-252-3349. We are happy to discuss how DBT might be helpful to your child.


If you have a question you’d like to pose to our therapists to address in the Laudable Life column, email us at info@KentlandsPsychotherapy.com