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DBT Skills Group: Adolescent

Adolescent DBT Skills Group

The Adolescent DBT Skills Group is for adolescents who would like to learn how to cope more effectively with intense emotions, problematic thoughts or behaviors (i.e. negative thinking, self-harm, substance use, suicidal thinking), and/or relationship struggles. Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance skills are taught in order to reduce self-destructive behaviors and learn more adaptive ways to manage painful emotions. The Austin group meets weekly on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00pm at our Westlake location.

What is a DBT skills Group?

A Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills group for adolescents is a therapeutic program designed specifically for teenagers or adolescents who may be struggling with emotional regulation, interpersonal difficulties, impulsive behaviors, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or other emotional and behavioral challenges. DBT is a evidence-based approach originally developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, and it has been adapted for use with adolescents.

Here are key components and features of a DBT skills group for adolescents:

  1. Structured Curriculum: The group typically follows a structured curriculum that teaches specific DBT skills. These skills are organized into four modules: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Each module focuses on different aspects of emotional regulation and interpersonal relationships.

  2. Psychoeducation: Adolescents are taught about the underlying principles of DBT, including the concept of dialectics (balancing acceptance and change), validation, and the biosocial theory of emotion dysregulation.

  3. Skills Training: Participants learn practical, evidence-based skills to manage emotions, tolerate distress, communicate effectively, and improve interpersonal relationships. These skills are taught through group discussions, role-playing, and homework assignments.

  4. Individual Therapy: In addition to the group sessions, participants often receive individual therapy from a DBT-trained therapist. Individual therapy allows for more personalized support and guidance tailored to the adolescent’s unique challenges and progress.

  5. Parental Involvement: Parental involvement is a crucial component of DBT for adolescents. Parents or caregivers are typically offered their own support and training to help them understand and reinforce the skills their child is learning in the group.

  6. Safety and Crisis Management: Given the population’s vulnerability, a DBT skills group for adolescents is equipped to handle crisis situations, including self-harm and suicidal ideation. Therapists are trained to assess and manage such situations while providing a safe and supportive environment.

  7. Duration and Frequency: The program’s duration and frequency can vary but often spans several months. Participants typically attend group sessions once a week and engage in ongoing practice of the skills between sessions.

  8. Outcome Goals: The primary goal of a DBT skills group for adolescents is to help participants develop effective coping strategies, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and improve their overall emotional well-being. The skills learned in the group are meant to be applied in real-life situations.

DBT skills groups for adolescents are beneficial for young people facing a range of emotional and behavioral challenges. They offer practical tools and strategies to help adolescents navigate their unique difficulties and ultimately lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

About the Group Process

Using DBT Skills in Everyday Life:

Learning cool skills can help us handle tough situations and have more fun every day! Let’s see how we can use our Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills in different parts of our lives:

1. Mindful Moments:

2. Brave Bubbles:

3. Emotion Explorers:

4. Friendship Superpowers:

5. Mindful Play:

6. Calming Clouds:

7. Expressing Emotions:

8. Team Talk:

These fun examples show how DBT skills can be like superhero tools for team, helping them handle ups and downs while having lots of adventures every day!

Learn more about our Adolescent Services, including in-person and virtual appointments.

Admissions & Pricing

For more information about admission into our Adolescent DBT Skills Group, pricing or additional questions, please contact us below:

Learn about  Adult DBT Therapy Skills

DBT Skills

Four core skill modules in DBT:

Additional Resources: