Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for At-Risk Adolescents Training

Sponsor: Seneca Institute for Advanced Practice

Location(s): United States


Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents (DBT-A) is a clinical program within the Young Adult and Family Center that targets high risk, multi-problem adolescents. We specialize in identifying and treating depression and risky behavior in adolescents, including self injury, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, substance use, binging and purging, risky sexual behavior, physical fighting, and other forms of risk-taking. DBT-A has been adapted by Alec Miller and Jill Rathus from Marsha Linehan’s initial conceptualization of DBT which was developed for adults diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Our adaptation follows the work of Miller and Rathus, who originally modified DBT for use with teens. Our program targets five areas:

  • Confusion about self
  • Impulsivity
  • Emotional instability
  • Interpersonal problems
  • Parent-teen problems

The treatment has been shown to be effective in treating self-harming adolescents with depression who demonstrate some traits of borderline personality disorder that are beyond that expected of typical adolescent development.