The Centers’ Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Program commenced in October 2015 and is currently housed in the Center’s Outpatient Psychiatric Children’s Clinic, located at 100 East Avenue in Norwalk. The Centers’ DBT team received training at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, held by The Linehan Institute’s Behavior Tech Program where they were trained in Marcia Linehan’s DBT treatment
Inclusion criteria for the Center’s DBT Program
Adolescents from ages 13 to 18 who present with high risk behaviors and/or have a history of past suicide attempts, self-injurious behaviors, maladaptive coping skills, previous behavioral health hospitalizations, sexualized behaviors, trauma, and/or substance abuse and/or meet criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. Clients do not have to meet all of these criteria in order to receive DBT services. Clients referred to the program, undergo a thorough intake assessment with a DBT clinician in order to determine whether DBT is the most appropriate form of treatment given their symptoms and needs.
Format of Treatment
Once engaged in the DBT Program, adolescents are expected to attend weekly individual sessions with their DBT primary clinician (45 minutes/per week). Parents/caregivers and adolescents are expected to attend the Multi-Family DBT Skills Training Group for a total of 16 weeks (2 hours/per week). After the 16 week session, it may be determined that additional support/treatment is needed (based on needs, trauma history, and symptoms); if this is the case, the adolescent may continue to engage in individual DBT sessions.
In addition to the individual and group components, if needed, adolescents are encouraged to use the DBT on-call phone to access skills when emotionally dysregulated. Phone coaching is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Another component of the Center’s DBT program is medication management, which is offered by the Centers’ APRN, who has also received extensive DBT training. If it is determined that medication is needed, the adolescent and parents/caregivers meet with the Centers’ APRN regularly to monitor medication compliance.