DBT Therapy For Teens – Top 5 DBT Skills to Help Teens Succeed

By Jeanette Lorandini

Frequently, DBT Theraphy for teens is how professionals work with teens with suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, and other self-destructive behaviors. DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to identify the negative thought patterns and reverse them into positive thought patterns. Dialectical behavioral therapy identifies certain behaviors and changes those behaviors to be positive through talking.

DBT for teens isn’t anything new. It is gaining popularity after many years, and parents, clinicians, and providers have realized that teen DBT therapy has a huge impact in decreasing harmful behaviors. Because DBT for teens has shown that it also increases healthy behavior, schools have initiated including the strategies in small groups within classrooms.

DBT Skills for Teens

DBT has proven to be a successful way to teach students social and emotional DBT skills for teens with these four skills:

  1. Mindfulness: DBT skills teach teen students to live ‘here and now’ and not stay in the past or worry about the future.
  2. Emotion Regulation: This DBT skill for teens teaches how to detect and reflect a person’s emotions without judgment and determine what role those emotions play in our bodies and
  3. Interpersonal Effectiveness: This is a DBT skill that teaches students to ask for what they need from themselves and others while keeping cool if things don’t go as desired.
  4. Distress Tolerance: This is a DBT skill is knowing how to tolerate strong emotions that usually send the teen into a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts
DBT Therapy for Teens with Parent Support

DBT Therapy for Teens in NYC

These are skills we all need to withstand difficult emotions and stressful situations. DBT skills can be challenging for some teens to learn and utilize, so DBT therapy is so important today. The phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.”, couldn’t be any more accurate with teens. Especially with DBT therapy for teens, we shouldn’t depend on professional treatment alone to be “the fix.”

DBT therapy needs the parental unit or guardians to partake as well for the therapy to be successful. The following are five ways suggested by experts that have provided DBT Skills for teens that parents should encourage at home:

  1. Go with the Flow: Professionals providing DBT therapy for teens teach them how to keep their emotions intact when life throws waves and upheavals in their path. The skill of remembering that things come, and things go, “This too shall pass.”, is a mantra of sorts that a teen can repeat to themselves to help keep their mind in focus and go with the flow.
  2. Keep the past in the Past: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for teens teaches teens to remember the past is just that. It isn’t the present. Relieving it is not healthy. They are taught to not worry about the future, stay in the current moment, and live the here and now life.
  3. Thinking It Doesn’t Make It So: Teens have trouble realizing that it isn’t necessarily making it true simply because they believe something. Teens must learn that everything isn’t always or never. Everything is not black and white. When a teen feels that ‘everyone’ hates them, the response should be asking them to define ‘everyone’ to help them realize their thoughts aren’t reasonable.
  4. Find the WISE thinking mind: Everyone is subject to experience an emotional mind and fly off the rails. Everyone also has a reasonable mind and thinks logically while calculating the options before us. It can take training to learn how to use the logical, rational mind instead of the one emotional mind and act accordingly.
  5. Instead of ‘BUT’, use ‘AND’: Yes, every situation probably has multiple truths, some we may like, others we may not. DBT therapy teaches teens to find the other truths, expand their perspective, and feel validated in their own truth while accepting others.
DBT for Teens NYC

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Teens

While professional DBT therapy for teens is essential in getting a teen on the right track, it is just as crucial for parents to be a part of this therapy at home. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for teens can be successful when there is support on all sides of their lives. Suffolk DBT Manhattan and Long Island provide DBT therapy for teens and offer a free screening call so you can get started right away.

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