Young Adult DBT

(ages 18 – 23)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is designed for individuals struggling with the following concerns:
     • Long-standing interpersonal difficulties
     • Self-harming or suicidal thoughts / behaviors
     • Difficulty managing emotions
     • Shame and self-directed anger
     • Helplessness and hopelessness
     • Substance Abuse / Chemical Dependency

Developed in the 1990’s by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. and her colleagues at the University of Washington, DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy, is an evidenced based treatment model originally developed to treat chronically suicidal adults with Borderline Personality Disorder. Through decades of research the model has been expanded to successfully treat adolescents with similar self-harm behaviors, as well as adolescents & adults with other co-occurring psychiatric illness such as Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, and PTSD. Research has shown DBT successful in treating out-of-control behavior problems such as impulsivity, suicidal ideation & attempts, self-harm, eating disorders, and substance abuse / addiction.

DBT considers the client’s primary problem to be a combination of emotional vulnerability and an inability to regulate emotional responses. Ongoing “emotion dysregulation” negatively impacts a client’s functioning in personal relationships, to develop coping skills, to think clearly in stressful situations and hold on to a sense of self. The focus or main “dialectic” in DBT treatment is on “radical acceptance” of oneself as is, while at the same time changing oneself by learning skills specifically designed to help overcome emotional vulnerability, become more skillful, and to be effective in building a life worth living.

Young Adult DBT Skills Group (ages 18 – 23)
Sierra K. Felix, MA, LCMHCA
Tuesdays from 6:00 – 7:15 pm.

Below is an outline of the modules in the order they will be taught:

  • Introduction and Mindfulness (2 weeks)
    • Mindfulness skills teach focus of the mind, paying attention on purpose, and how to observe & describe thoughts/feelings in the moment, without judging them.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness (4 weeks) followed by Mindfulness (1 week)
    • These skills address difficulties in maintaining consistent/rewarding relationships by asking for what you need, effectively saying no, while maintaining sense of self-respect and independence.
  • Emotion Regulation (4 weeks) followed by Mindfulness (1 week)
    • These skills address emotional sensitivity, rapid mood changes, and other unregulated moods such as chronic depression, anxiety, or hostility.
  • Distress Tolerance (4 weeks)
    • Skills teach how to distract and productively self-soothe in the midst of distress; typically replacing problem behaviors such as skipping class, self-harm, fighting, alcohol/drug abuse.
  • All participants are invited to repeat the 16 week series, as this follows the ‘best practice’ protocol in full-model DBT implementation.