The Center for
Cognitive Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training with Adolescents (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy was created in the early 1990’s by Dr. Marsha Linehan as treatment for adults who had difficulties with intense emotions and safety issues (suicidal thoughts and self-injury). Over the years, DBT has been proven helpful in a wide variety of settings and populations, including adolescents. 

DBT has four modules or sets of skills: 

Mindfulness– skills that improve awareness of one’s self and the world. They teach you to make wise decisions, focus on one thing at a time, avoid judgments and do what works. 

Distress tolerance- This includes Crisis Survival skills and Accepting Reality skills.  Crisis Survival addresses coping with difficult situations without turning to harmful coping strategies like self-harm (cutting) and drug and alcohol use. Accepting Reality involves accepting things one cannot change.

Emotion Regulation – teaches skills to become aware of emotions, act in ways that reduce emotional suffering, and create emotional balance through positive and confidence- building acitivities. 

Interpersonal Effectiveness teaches communication and relationship skills (assertiveness, boundary setting, and self respect)

The DBT Program

Dr. Greta Carlson leads the structured DBT program. She has extensive experience in treating trauma, depression, and emotion dysregulation with DBT.

The Program involves:

  • A free and confidential intake with Dr. Carlson
  • Individual therapy with a skilled therapist 
  • Weekly DBT skills training group for client and their parents 
  • Skills coaching and 24 hour phone consultation
  • Team consultation