• DBT For Teens and Family Counseling

    Our Adolescent Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program is a clinical program that serves high risk, multi-issue young adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17. 

    Awake and Aware specializes in identifying and treating depression and risky behavior including self injury, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, substance use, binging and purging, risky sexual behavior, physical fighting, and other forms of risk-taking.

    DBT for teens has been adapted by Alec Miller and Jill Rathus from Marsha Linehan’s initial conceptualization of DBT. which was developed for adults diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Our adaptation follows the work of Miller and Rathus, who originally modified DBT for use with adolescents.

    Our program targets five areas: 

    • Confusion about self
    • Impulsivity
    • Emotional instability
    • Interpersonal problems
    • Family conflict

    DBT for Adolescents also addresses the adolescent/parent struggles. These include:

    • Addressing the shifting power dynamics as an adolescent matures,
    • Determining what is “normal” behavior for the adolescent
    • Assessing needs for adolescent independence.
  • What is the idea behind DBT’s treatment philosophy for adolescents?

    DBT is non-pathologizing, DBT for adolescents addresses the person in environment as a basis for change. Due to the combination of environment and biology, some adolescents naturally react more intensely to emotional stimulation. Their levels of arousal rise more quickly, peak at higher levels and take longer to return to baseline. This explains why there is a prevalence for repetitive crisis and often, very rapid shifts in emotion. DBT teaches skills that will give adolescents and their families the tools they need to handle emotions successfully and safely.

  • What is the treatment?

    The program consists of at least a 6 month to a year commitment. It involves weekly individual sessions and weekly 90 minute to 2 hour skills sessions. There is also a multifamily group 1x weekly that teaches parents the same skills taught in skills group, operates on a 20 week timeframe and involves both the adolescent and the parent together in group. It also includes 24 hour skills coaching. DBT is delivered as part of a team treatment format which means DBT practitioners work together on consultation team in the treatment of clients.

  • To find out if Adolescent and Family DBT is right for your adolescent answer Awake and Aware's Adolescent DBT Questionnaire or contact Awake and Aware directly with any questions regarding Adolescent and Family DBT Treatment Program.