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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Whiteside

Empowering Teens: How DBT Transforms Adolescent Mental Health

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

If you have a teen in need of mental health services, you may have heard the term "DBT" which stands for Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT is effective in treating adolescents for several reasons including its success in reducing suicidal ideation and self-harm. Additional reasons include the following:

1. It addresses emotional dysregulation: Adolescents often struggle with intense emotions and have difficulty regulating them. DBT helps them understand and manage their emotions in a healthy way.

2. It focuses on building coping skills: Adolescents are taught specific coping skills, such as mindfulness and distress tolerance, to help them deal with difficult situations and emotions.

3. It involves parents and caregivers: DBT encourages parents and caregivers to be involved in the treatment process, which can help improve communication and relationships within the family.

4. It provides a non-judgmental and validating environment: Adolescents often feel misunderstood and judged. DBT provides a supportive and validating environment that can help them feel more understood and accepted.

5. It addresses multiple issues: DBT can be effective in treating a range of issues that adolescents may be struggling with, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and self-harm.

DBT is effective in treating adolescents because it provides a comprehensive approach that addresses the multiple challenges that they may be facing. If you or someone you care about is interested in DBT, there are many individual therapists and DBT groups available including DBT-informed support at

Stephanie Whiteside, LCSW


Serenity Counseling, Coaching, & Consulting

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