September 21, 2017

DBT and Your Teen: 7 Ways Teens Benefit from DBT Treatment

Written by Rachel Eddins

Stressed teen in need of DBT Treatment

Some teens struggle with the day to day.

For a young person who feels somehow unprepared, confused, or unworthy, the world can be a scary place.

That’s where DBT can make all the difference. They can receive support from their peers and solid teen counseling to feel better about themselves and their ability to live well.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or DBT treatment, effectively helps regulate and amend challenging, unproductive, or even self-destructive thought patterns. The emotions and behavior that can negatively impact a teen’s life are thoroughly examined, explored, and addressed in a compassionate and empowering way.

DBT is a mixture of cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness skills.

DBT treatment provides young people with concrete, identifiable skills as well as encouragement that builds confidence and competence. Teens often find that this fosters self-acceptance and proactive, healthy decision-making.

They learn to assess and manage change, stress, and unpredictability as it becomes necessary; an important set of life skills that boost a teen’s mental flexibility and practical ability to cope during difficult times.

Recent research regarding Dialectical Behavior Therapy indicates that teens benefit from key types of skills.

Here are four Skills-Related Ways Teens Benefit from DBT Treatment

  1. Mindfulness: Teens learn to be aware and remain in the present moment. They learn to pay attention to what is going on inside and outside of them with less reactivity and more curiosity. Eventually, they come to accept their circumstances and gain more effective control over their thoughts and behavior.
  2. Distress Tolerance: Teens come to understand that distress is not a permanent state. Their work with a therapist helps them gain tools that allow them to tolerate pain. All of this helps them work through life situations without exacerbating their problems or making things worse.
  3. Emotional Regulation: Teens gain the ability to identify and navigate their own emotions more adeptly. They come to see their emotions as purposeful and gain skills needed for regulating the intensity of their feelings. The idea is to feel more in control of balancing their emotions and less inclined to be thrown off by life’s ups and downs.
  4. Interpersonal Effectiveness: Teen counseling helps participants learn to develop healthy, growth-oriented, supportive relationships. These are essential. Teens gain the skills to ask for what they want from the key people in their lives. They also learn to get what they need while saying “no” to people who will not help them grow or live life optimally.

DBT treatment proves most effective in highly structured teen group therapy.  

Here are three more ways DBT treatment is beneficial as it pertains to the group setting.

  1. Teens learn to be more accepting, less judgmental, and more capable of thinking logically.Under the guidance of a therapist, this tends to reduce “black and white thinking.” Teens are more able to find common ground and make decisions that are more balanced, effective, and less impulsive.
  2. Teens come to group treatment with support in mind. They are able to check in, practice interpersonal skills, and share intentionally. Furthermore, they improve the more they interact and receive honest, constructive feedback. Everyone in the group wants to improve and see real change occur for themselves and for each other. Moreover, the peer experience provides real motivation and connection for young people.
  3. By sharing with others, teens learn to blame less and solve problems more. Things go wrong, it’s part of life. As they listen and absorb the stories of others, this becomes more clear. Teens learn to see outside themselves. In addition, they learn to put things in perspective and reach out to each other in the midst of pain and confusion with applicable DBT skills.

Are you considering DBT treatment for your teen?

Eddins Counseling Group has counseling services available. Read more about how our counselors can help you support and get your teen through the trying times many teens face. Our therapists in Houston, TX can help you get started. Please contact us today at 832-559-2622 or click here to schedule an appointment with our teen or DBT therapist.

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