Make Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Teens Successful -10 Tips

By Jeanette Lorandini

Do Not be Afraid to Seek Therapy or Do Not Feel like You Are Less of a Person for Going to Therapy.

anxiety treatment in long island1. DBT treatment is made accessible to everyone, especially teens. There are many people with many reasons for going to DBT treatment. It does not make you weaker or less of a person to seek therapy. Some people simply need a support team throughout their journey to self-improvement. Remember to remind yourself that you are worthy of receiving help.

Remember that you are never alone in your struggles.

Form A Strong Bond with your Therapist.

2. One of the ways in which you can be a successful teen in DBT treatment: Do not be afraid to form a strong bond with your DBT therapist! They are here to help you through your journey and want to see you grow and improve. Utilize them as an important resource!

Attend Your DBT Counseling Sessions!

3. Your counseling sessions are imperative to your growth throughout the Dialectical Behavioral Therapeutic process. Attending your sessions not only helps you become familiar with your therapist, but it also allows you to develop a stronger bond with them. Attending your counseling sessions allows you to work through various negative or uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that may arise.

Do Your Homework About DBT Skills and DBT Therapy!

4. Homework in the DBT program is imperative to personal growth. Doing your homework assigned in DBT group therapy, or your diary cards, give you the opportunity to learn outside of sessions. It is your opportunity to practice the skills taught to you in both individual sessions and in groups. Take advantage of the resources available to you! They are taught to you so that they may help you cope and keep you from engaging in target behaviors.

If You Need Someone, Call Someone.

5. Having a particularly hard day? Call! You are not on this journey alone. So many people struggle with similar mental obstacles. The DBT program offers personal coaching! If you ever feel that you need to talk, call your counselor for coaching.

Practice DBT Skills Beyond Counseling Sessions and Beyond Your Homework.

6. These skills are meant to help you, do not solely utilize these skills for the sake of completing homework. DBT skills are meant to be used on a daily basis so that you may experience personal growth maximally.

teen counseling dbt therapyDo Not Feel Discouraged When You Begin DBT!

7. When you first begin DBT treatment, there are many BIG concepts that you will learn about. It can be overwhelming and you may not grasp concepts with ease. It took me a long while before I had even begun to understand the concepts discussed in therapy and how I could apply those skills in my daily life. Often, I asked myself if I was doing my homework correctly, or if I was applying these concepts appropriately. It is important not to become discouraged in the process of DBT. It is like learning to drive a car, or learning to play an instrument. Although you may not get it correctly the first time, keep trying! These skills require time and practice. Do not feel discouraged if your brain does not readily understand concepts!

Ask Questions!

8. Do not be afraid to speak up and ask questions. When I was first introduced to DBT therapy for Teens, I often shied away from asking questions. I was afraid of rejection. It is important to note that your counselor is here to help you. In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, your counselor is not here to judge you. They want to see you grow. So be curious! Ask questions on concepts you do not understand. Ask for clarification on concepts you may only understand slightly. Much like school, DBT is a learning experience. Although it may not always be fun, DBT teaches you lifelong skills that will forever be your guide to better days.

Do Not Underestimate Teen DBT Therapy!

9. DBT therapy is a therapy founded upon science. Although there is no “magic” formula that solves issues, it is a skill set that truly teaches you how you can manage your emotions and work with your mind so that you can live a better life. To undergo successful treatment for teens in DBT therapy, you must believe in the process. You will make progress!

Everyone Is On Their Own Mental Health Journey

10. Every person is at a different point in DBT therapy. Do not compare your progress to the progress of others! You only truly know what you are going through. Others may be experiencing better days while you are experiencing worse days. That is nothing to be discouraged about.

Always remember: You are doing your best and progressing at your own pace. YOU GOT THIS! You may not think so now, as I once also thought, but you do. Continue attending your counseling sessions, continue with group therapy, continue with practicing these skills and your homework. DBT has changed my perspective on life and it will change yours too.


Suffolk DBT proudly provides quality dialectical behavior therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, at their offices in Manhattan and Long Island, New York and online. Their experienced therapists specialize in serving teens, children, adults, and college students struggling with depression, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and self-harm. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills and treatment can help you or your kids to manage emotions and work through life’s challenges.

Schedule a free consultation call today.

DBT therapyWhat is DBT and What is DBT Therapy?
Check the Facts: Managing Your Emotions to Improve Relationships