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Dialectical Behaviour Therapy - DBT

Does your child/teen struggle with intense emotions?  Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a highly structured, evidenced-based treatment approach that is effective for children and teens who struggle with intense emotions, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders and anxiety disorders.  Through DBT, young people have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills in the following areas: mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance.  DBT seeks to balance two concepts that may appear to be quite opposite; acceptance and change.  As teens learn to accept their situation and make changes that are possible, life becomes worth living.

 

DBT is designed to help with extreme emotional instability or "dysregulation"—the inability to manage intense emotions.  Dysregulation often leads to impulsive, self-destructive, or self-harming behaviors. The goal of DBT is to teach adolescents techniques to help them understand their emotions without judgment (using mindfulness) and also to give them skills and techniques to manage those emotions and change behaviors in ways that will make their lives better.  It takes hard work and commitment.

 

DBT can also involve sharing information and teaching specific skills to parents.  Parents learn to observe how intense and negative emotions affect their child and how these emotions result in problematic behaviors.  Improved understanding allows parents to intervene early and respond to their child's emotion with greater acceptance. It enables parents to be more effective in helping their child feel more in control and better about him/herself.