To the right of me sat Natalie Portman. To the left of me sat the Crown Prince of Dubai. In front of me stood our Nobel laureate professor. And between them, I sat, holding within me the most infamous personality of all, my borderline personality disorder.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan to teach clients emotional regulation and coping skills, was first used with adult patients who responded to emotional pain with self-harming mechanisms, like cutting, engaging in intentionally dangerous behaviors, or attempting suicide. Today we’re taking a look at how DBT helps teens and adolescents develop healthier coping skills and responses to emotional duress and discover new ways to work through their pain.
The support and understanding of parents if often vital to successful Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) treatment for adolescents; however, parents (or parental figures) may feel a range of negative emotions surrounding the child and the therapeutic intervention, like shame, guilt, anger, or helplessness. Working with parents to create an open, compassionate environment where their feelings are validated helps ensure that everyone is focused on the recovery of the adolescent—and, by extension, the entire family.