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DBT – Multi Family for Adolescents

This program includes all the components of the primary adult module with enhancements to address the relationship between the parent and child as well as the need of the parent to access coaching.

The Five Components of Treatment:

Structured Individual Therapy

Focuses on specific behaviors. Increasing motivation and helping clients apply the DBT skills to specific challenges and events in their lives. Clients are expected to track their behaviors and emotions between sessions. Individual therapy takes place once a week for as long as the client is in the DBT program.

Skills Coaching

Focuses on providing clients with in-the-moment coaching on how to use skills to effectively cope with difficult situations that arise in their everyday lives. Clients can call their individual therapists between sessions to receive coaching at the times when they need help the most.

Group Skills Training

In multi- family adolescent DBT, at least one parent joins the skills group along with their teenager.This group focuses on enhancing individual and family capabilities by teaching them multiple behavioral skills organized in modules. The group meets on a weekly basis for 1.5 hours virtually. One skill module is added to directly address parent/teen conflicts and help to view normal adolescent challenges and those that could be potentially more of an issue. Role play is used frequently between teens and parents not always from the same family to help demonstrate skills and practice in a non threatening environment. DBT is most effective when an individual completes 1 year of group skills training for standard adolescent DBT.

Consultation Team

It isn’t DBT without the clinical consultation team for and between DBT therapists to help ensure the provided DBT treatment is effective and consistent with the principles of the DBT model. DBT therapists apply the treatment to each other and gain the support they need to continue providing effective care of their patients in the DBT program. The team meets weekly for several hours and provides consultation throughout the week as needed to other team members.

Parent Coaching and Co-Parenting Sessions

It is not uncommon for parents to request more support once they have reached our treatment team. Often, teens and their families have worked with either multiple therapists, have been admitted to inpatient treatment, residential care, or other acute care treatment centers. Many have reported working with therapists who either did not have the skills to treat borderline personality disorder or who were hesitant to “label” the child/teen and make a referral for more intensive services. Although DBT is designed for borderline personality disorder, a teenager does not require the diagnosis to be referred to or receive treatment for chronic dysregulation, self-harming behaviors, suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

In this component, a therapist from the team is identified as your “parent coach: to work with one or more identified parents or guardians of the child. This should be one of the primary caregivers and ideally both parents or caregivers would be involved at this level. The therapist will work with the parental unit to reinforce the learned skills and aid the parents in understanding the principles involved in treatment. This may involve direct guidance and validation for the parents in their choices of how to best manage and cope with their child’s diagnosis as well as the behaviors that stem from it. The parents have the option to enroll in 24 hour on call coaching services for themselves for an additional monthly fee. This allows them to receive phone coaching services just like their teen may from their primary therapist. This component of the treatment does not include family therapy. Family therapy is incorporated into treatment led by the primary therapist.

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At Beach Therapy & Consulting, our therapists are trained to assess your treatment needs and create your own individualized treatment plan to expedite your healing from whatever mental health issue is giving you difficulty.

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