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dialectical behavioral therapy for families

Traditional DBT is taught in weekly skill training sessions with 6-12 participants of similar age and life situation.  Parents often attend a DBT group designed just for parents at the same time.  While this may be ideal for some, there are many circumstances that prevent families from being able to participate in the full program of simultaneous treatment.  


What I offer is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skill training in a family therapy setting.  

The difference is that the whole family learns the skills simultaneously and at the same pace.  We use the session to process events from the past week, prepare for upcoming stressors and practice using new skills. The ‘identified client’ in family therapy is the family unit, so each family member should come ready to use self-reflection to explore their own patterns of thinking, communicating and behaving and how they may impact the family unit.  

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: Skills Training for Families


Sample Schedule:

  1.     Orientation to Approach & Goal Setting

  2.     Assumptions of DBT and the Family Environment

  3.     Mindfulness: Observe, Describe, Participate

  4.     Mindfulness: Non-Judgmental, One Mindful, Effectively

  5.     Dialectics: Finding the Middle Path

  6.      Wise Mind: Balancing Emotional and Reasoning Mind

  7.      Validation: Understanding and Acceptance

  8.      GIVE: Putting the Relationship First

  9.      FAST: Maintaining Self-Respect

  10.      DEARMAN: Assertiveness to Ask or Say No

  11.      Emotions: Understanding and Naming Emotions

  12.      Emotions: How to Change Unwanted Emotions

  13.      Emotions: Reducing Vulnerability to Intense Emotions/Behavior

  14.      Distress Tolerance: Crisis Survival Skills

  15.      Distress Tolerance: Reality Acceptance Skills

  16.      Relapse Prevention and Planning for the Future


Each week, we will meet for approximately 50 minutes. 

The time will be generally structured in this way:

         Check-in (5 min)

         Mindfulness (5 min)

         Homework Review (20 min)

         New Skill Teaching and Practice (15 min)

         Closing (5 min)

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