Adolescent Comprehensive DBT Program

We are the only clinic in Southern California offering full standard DBT with all of its necessary components for adolescents with severe and complex emotion dysregulation problems. DBT is a comprehensive treatment that thoroughly addresses both the underlying struggles with emotion and the difficult behaviors such as self-injury, suicide attempts, aggression, and oppositional/defiant behaviors, by applying scientifically-established principles of behavior change.

Beyond the four standard components of DBT, our adolescent program is structured to facilitate a high degree of parent involvement to help their child switch from his or her usual dysfunctional behaviors to more effective coping behaviors. Including the whole family unit is vital to the effectiveness of adolescent DBT.

Our adolescent DBT program is for teens aged 13-17 and their families. No diagnosis is necessary - we will provide a diagnostic assessment upon entry into the program and collaboratively determine the targets for therapy.

Program Components for Adolescent DBT

Individual DBT Therapy (weekly) *teen only
Focused on effective coping and problem-solving of specific life challenges and targeted behaviors.

Family Therapy (as needed) *parents and teen
Focused on overall improvement of relationships within the family system.

DBT Skills Training Group (weekly class) *parents and teen
Focused on enhancing clients’ capabilities through behavioral skills training. Skills group is run like a class and covers the following four modules:

  • Mindfulness - staying present in the moment without judgment
  • Distress Tolerance - getting through the tough times without making things worse
  • Emotion Regulation - learning to understand and manage your emotions
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness - asserting your needs, communicating effectively and maintaining relationships

Parent Training Group (weekly class) *parents only
Focused on managing problem behaviors and improving communication skills. Parents may choose to attend parent training in one-on-one sessions if they prefer.

Teens-Only Group (weekly class) *teen only
Focused on generalization of mindfulness skills through fun and creative activities that foster a sense of competence and self-respect.

Phone Coaching (between sessions) *parents and teen
Help with applying the skills to your real-life challenges and crises when they occur. Both parents and teens have access to phone coaching.

Therapist Consultation Team (weekly)
Focused on helping therapists solve treatment obstacles, stay competent and motivated, and provide the best treatment possible. The consultation team consists of all individual therapists and group leaders, and they share responsibility for client care.


4:30-6:30pm or 5:30-7:30pm (choose one)

Optional Components

Biofeedback Training
Resonant frequency breathing training to enhance emotion regulation and increase resilience to stressors. You may choose to add our 10-session training program to your therapy.

Preparing for Therapy

Please fill out our inquiry form to request help at DBTCSD. We will contact you within 1-2 business days to discuss your needs and schedule your first session.

Please read and complete the following forms prior to your first session. These forms and questionnaires are necessary for us to begin therapy with you. Filling them out ahead of time will allow us to start your therapy more quickly. If you prefer, you may arrive early and complete these forms in our waiting room or during your first session.

The parents should complete these forms and questionnaires:

Patient Information form
Consent form (read only - we will provide a copy for you to sign at your first session)
HIPAA Privacy Policy
CDB - Child Dysfunctional Behaviors

Authorize your other mental health providers to send us your information:

Release of Information (former) - records from your former therapist or hospital
Release of Information (current) - records from your current psychiatrist

Your child should complete these forms and questionnaires:

Personal History form