One of only two providers in the AV to offer this innovative treatment
The Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley (CCAV) has begun offering dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to teens struggling with a variety of mental health conditions. A form of cognitive behavior therapy, DBT is an intensive, evidence-based approach that helps patients learn how to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships.
DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, but has been found to successfully improve suicidal ideation, self-harm, major depressive disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder for those ages 13 and older. The treatment program includes weekly individual and group therapy sessions, which involve the client plus their primary caregiver, for teenage clients.
DBT is based on providing therapeutic support in four key areas:
- Emotional regulation — Learning to self-moderate in difficult situations.
- Interpersonal effectiveness — Building the communications skills, awareness and self-respect required for healthy relationships.
- Distress tolerance — Managing one’s reaction to their environment, especially unexpected or difficult situations.
- Mindfulness — The ability to purposefully focus on being present.
“DBT is a powerful form of treatment for the teens who need it, and we are excited to add it to our skillset,” said Doug Corrigan, EdD, clinical supervisor at CCAV. “Our ultimate goal is to teach our patients effective ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, control their impulses, and develop healthy relationships.”
To achieve DBT certification, eligible clinicians must complete an extensive training program and pass a clinical exam.