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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

dialectical behavior therapyMental health concerns in teens continue to rise every year, with one in five teens struggling with some form of mental health disorder. To help in cases of behavioral problems, a dialectical behavior therapy program (DBT) can help teens suffering from mood disorders or having thoughts of suicide. A teen mental health treatment program can give teens the help they need to cope with their mental health disorders through outpatient treatment programs at Imagine Spokane.

At Imagine Spokane, our team specializes in treating mental health disorders for teens ages 12–17. Our dialectical behavior therapy program, incorporated into our outpatient programs, helps teens live in the moment and focus on creating healthy coping skills to improve their mental health. To learn more about our dialectical behavior therapy program or any of our other teen mental health treatment programs, contact our friendly staff today by completing our online contact form or calling 509.870.3810.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical behavior therapy is an offshoot of cognitive-behavioral therapy specifically created to help with borderline personality disorders. After a while, behavioral therapists began discovering that DBT can help with many other mental health concerns such as stress, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

There are four areas that DBT focuses on, which are:

  • Mindfulness – The first step is for the therapist to observe the client in a non-judgemental environment where they are free to express themselves. Therapists will participate by sharing their observations and helping keep teens focused on their issues.
  • Distress tolerance – This area focuses on changing the client’s perspective during stressful times or social situations that normally make them worry. Instead of obsessing over what could happen, they learn to accept the situation for what it is and not try to change it to match what they think will happen. 
  • Emotional regulation – This area helps clients cope with intense feelings and emotions and not let them interfere with their daily lives. Instead of letting their feelings cause anxiety or fear, they learn to take a positive approach and begin replacing their negative thinking patterns with positive ones. 
  • Interpersonal effectiveness – Therapists will work with clients to develop their communication skills and learn to let others know how they feel. They learn how to speak more assertively, so they are heard and recognized.

A teen dialectical behavior therapy program can help with a number of mental health disorders and other concerns, such as:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fear
  • Obsessive worrying

Benefits of a Teen Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program

Dialectical behavior therapy has proven to be very beneficial in helping teens lead happy and productive lives. The three key benefits of a teen DBT program include:

  • Improve relationship skills – Teens work on creating healthy relationships with their friends and family and build a strong support system after treatment ends. DBT understands the value of healthy relationships and focuses on overcoming relationship issues and social fears.
  • Learn healthy coping skills – The mindfulness approach of DBT is useful in all aspects of a teen’s life. They will find that the coping skills they learn in DBT will also affect other areas of their life as they get older. 
  • Enhance their quality of life – The goal of any mental health program is to enhance the client’s quality of life. DBT helps them realize that they cannot control everything that will happen and learn to accept this and move on. They accept their life as is and begin making positive changes that will significantly improve their lives.

Learn More About Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Imagine Spokane

At Imagine Spokane, our dialectical behavior therapy program in Washington helps teens aged 12–17 who struggle with any number of mental health disorders. Therapists use DBT to discover the root cause behind their issues and show them how not to let it negatively affect them. They replace harmful habits with positive ones and how to stop the endless loop of negative thinking. 

Call Imagine Spokane today at 509.870.3810 to speak to us about our teen dialectical behavior therapy program, or you can fill out our convenient online form.