In order to attend the DBT Multifamily skills training group, the teen must be receiving individual DBT treatment from a DBT therapist.  In the Multifamily Group each teen will be accompanied by a parent/guardian who will be learning the skills right alongside of the teen.  DBT Skills groups have been researched to be helpful for EVERYONE, and have been adapted to school, corporate and other settings, and parents consistently report benefiting from learning the skills and using them in their own lives, apart from being there to help their child.   New group members will be added after being fully prepared by the individual therapist and when there is an opening and this usually takes 3-5 weeks.  Preparation consists of the therapist orienting the client and parent to how the group works, and some introductory concepts, and insuring commitment to attending.  The group is focused on enhancing members’ capabilities by teaching them behavioral skills. The group is run like a class where the group leaders teach the skills and assigns homework for clients to practice using the skills in their everyday lives. Groups meet on a weekly basis for approximately 1 3/4 hours and it takes 24 weeks to get through the full skills curriculum, which is often repeated to create a 1-year program.  The decision to repeat the group is made by the client, parents and individual therapist.

DBT for teens includes five sets of behavioral skills.

  • Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
  • Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
  • Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that you want to change
  • Walking the Middle Path: How to reduce the conflicts in families, learning concepts of Behaviorism, Dialectics and Validation.

Each one of these Modules is 4-6 weeks long and there are “Transition Groups” in between each module which are used to welcome new participants, or graduate members who are leaving.  The maximum number of teens is 5 plus the parents.  The fee for each group is $70.00 per group and members are financially responsible for paying for group for each module regardless of attendance.  See the calendar on the website for current dates and times of the group.