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How Can DBT Help My Teen?

dialectical behavior therapy

Your teen can benefit from a dialectical behavior therapy program in Boise for several reasons. DBT is a treatment approach that will help your teen learn to manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors more effectively.

Teens have not developed the problem-solving skills to regulate or manage intense emotions. They tend to react irrationally in stressful situations. In DBT, they can gain the skills and insight to change those maladaptive responses to distress.

If your teen struggles to control how they respond to stressful situations or daily challenges, DBT may be a solution. Find out how DBT can help your teen by contacting Imagine Boise at 888.597.2807 today.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

DBT was developed in the early 1990s for treating borderline personality disorders. It is an integrated treatment approach that includes mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, behaviorism, and dialectical thinking.

DBT has become a widely accepted component of many addiction treatment programs as an evidence-based methodology for treating a variety of disorders.

Dialectical behavior therapy is beneficial for adolescents who struggle with symptoms of self-injury, unstable relationships, suicidal ideations, and impulsive behaviors.

As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, DBT can help teens who struggle with:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Poor coping mechanisms
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Impulsive or disruptive behavior

When your teen experiences repeated emotional problems, the situation is not likely to resolve itself. Talk to a trusted physician or counselor about whether your child could benefit from DBT.

How Does DBT Work for Adolescents?

Dialectical behavior therapy helps adolescents develop effective problem-solving and coping skills they can apply when faced with an upsetting situation. A DBT therapist guides teens through four different DBT modules that are part of an integrated approach to adolescent treatment.


Mindfulness skills help teens learn to be more aware of and accept their emotions rather than getting lost in them. For example, if the teen feels anxious, they learn to observe the feeling without judging it. This skill involves learning to be aware in the present moment without trying to change the feeling.

Mindfulness therapy is proven to improve focus and memory and reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

Distress Tolerance

When confronted with a problem, some teens tend to think it’s not fair that they should have this problem. This mindset often makes them feel worse. In DBT, they will discover healthier ways of thinking about stressful situations. They learn to accept it for what it is, thereby reducing their anger, anxiety, or sadness.

Emotion Regulation

Teens often act out of instinct. If they feel angry, they may fight or argue. If they feel sad, they may withdraw socially. DBT teaches them how to choose to react differently to these feelings. The therapy encourages them to focus on the positive rather than the negative aspects of the experience.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

DBT for teens helps them recognize that their behavior affects their relationships with others. They learn to balance their own needs with the needs of others and make positive changes in how they interact with the people in their life.

Find a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Program For Your Teen at Imagine Boise

A dialectical behavioral therapy program can help your teen by addressing the underlying causes of their maladaptive or risk-taking behavior. Our therapists are highly qualified and trained to work with youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Your teen will receive the compassionate, skilled care you expect.

At Imagine Boise, dialectical behavior therapy may include counseling and learning to explore one’s emotions and fears. It is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that is a vital component of our comprehensive approach to treating adolescents.

To find out how our DBT for teens program can help your child, contact us at 888.597.2807 to speak with one of our representatives at Imagine Boise today.