Health

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) For Teens: An Overview!

There are various forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, which are applied for various mental health issues. One of them is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Developed in 1980s for treatment of patients suffering from borderline personality disorder, DBT has, since then, been used for various other needs too. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for teens is basically directed towards managing behavior and emotions.

How can DBT help teens?

Teenagers often have a hard time with their thoughts, and can be prone to impulsive behavior, which may seem tough to manage. Depending on the symptoms, therapists may recommend DBT for teens, so that they can focus on the positive aspects and manage thoughts and behavior better. There are different components of DBT, but it focuses on mindfulness, which is important for young adults. DBT may be considered for teen patients, who are dealing with dual disorders, such as mental health issues and drug abuse.

When is DBT recommended?

A therapist is the best person to decide, if a teen needs DBT or any form of cognitive behavioral therapy. Typical symptoms that are managed with DBT include impulsive behavior, unexplained and frequent emotion and mood swings, suicidal thoughts, self-injury tendencies, depression, anxiety, and sudden outbursts of anger. As we mentioned earlier, DBT may be a choice for teens who are dealing with such issues, besides drug or alcohol abuse. Emotional changes in teen years are not uncommon, and therefore, DBT is not a solution for every teen who is troubled. Therapists and mental health experts will consider behavior, other tendencies to decide on any form of therapy. Nevertheless, studies have revealed that DBT is actually helpful for adolescents, teens and adults alike.

What does it involve?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy requires a close relationship between the therapist and patient, and individual sessions are particularly important. Group sessions are also organized a few times each week, as a part of DBT, and therapists are usually accessible to patients for phone counseling, where needed. With Dialectical Behavior Therapy, teens are capable of handling crisis and emotions better, and they have a better understanding of their mind. DBT basically focuses on two opposite things – acceptance and change.

If your child shows signs of anxiety, or usual behavior, consider seeing a clinical psychologist to get advice. The clinic will recommend the right therapy, and where required, DBT will be used as a form of treatment, with medicines (if needed and prescribed by a psychiatrist.

Alan Molly
the authorAlan Molly