Adolescent DBT (DBT-A) Program

An adaptation of DBT was created to treat emotional instability in adolescents by Dr. Alec Miller & Dr. Jill Rathus.  In this program, the teen receives one-on-one treatment, but skills training is done with the teen & parents together in a multi-family skills class.  In this format, families can support each other while all learning and using the same skills, so that skillful behaviors can be rewarded & family conflict is reduced. The skills portion of this program is 28 weeks.

It is not uncommon during treatment for special family sessions to be needed to identify & resolve patterns of behavior which interfere with achieving specific goals.  The teen’s therapist works with the teen & the consultation team to determine when family sessions may be helpful.

DBT for adolescents (DBT-A) was developed by Jill Rathus & Alec Miller in New York City soon after Marsha Linehan, the founder of DBT, started training therapists in the mid-90s.  Together, Jill & Alec modified the original DBT program for adults to include parents & teens learning skills together & developed a skills module specifically designed to help parents & teens resolve conflict.  They also co-authored the manual for doing DBT with teens with Marsha Liniehan's help & wrote a skills training manual for DBT-A.