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  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

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    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

    Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) can be a very effective treatment for teenagers who are living with anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide ideation, social skills issues, and many other problems.

    What Is DBT?

    DBT is a therapy that is based on the idea that people struggle due to a mix of biology, lack in skills, and invalidation in their lives. Therefore, DBT creates success for individuals through teaching skills and providing supportive validation

    DBT for teens differs from DBT for adults in several key ways, and there is a research-validated program for those changes: DBT-A (DBT for Adolescents). The most significant difference of DBT for adolescents is the inclusion of caregivers. Oftentimes, caregivers will be included in skills training sessions or may have their own separate skill training sessions.

    Common DBT Techniques & Tools for Teens

    Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a core component of any DBT program and teaches individuals to be present and aware in the moment. Being aware and present allows a teen to tolerate more, and be able to use tools to make change.

    Radical self-acceptance: Radical acceptance is an offshoot of mindfulness and teaches a teen to fully accept what is or has happened in life. Radical does not mean being ok with any situation, but it frees one from fighting reality.

    Walking the Middle Path: Walking the Middle Path is a collection of emphasized techniques to assist with common teen issues. The emphasized techniques include dialectics, validation, and behavior change.

    Dialectics: Dialectics is recognizing and honoring two different sides of a conflict to find the common truth between them. For example, someone can be doing the best they can and yet need to do better.

    Validation: Validation is recognizing that someone else’s experience, and your own experience, are important. Even when there is disagreement, validation honors actions, feelings, and thoughts.

    Behavior Change: Behavior change is a collection of techniques that helps motivate, make, and maintain desirable changes in behavior.