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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Mental health concerns like anxiety and depression can impact millions of teens. To help teens through these challenges, Kiwi Recovery offers dialectical behavior therapy for teens and young adults. Contact Kiwi Recovery at 617.545.3344 to learn more about our mental health treatment services.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of talk therapy that can help teens who experience powerful emotions that are difficult to regulate. It uses many of the core principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, but it focuses on emotions. Teen dialectical behavior therapy can teach teens how to live in the moment while also learning how to cope effectively with stress and regulate their emotions. DBT for teens can help with the following:

  • Depression
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal behavior
  • PTSD
  • OCD
  • Substance use disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harm

It can help with any condition in which unhelpful thought patterns lead to intense and seemingly uncontrollable emotions. Instead of turning to stress-relieving habits that bring negative consequences, like binge eating or substance use, dialectical behavior therapy can help clients find better ways of coping. DBT for teens can work well as part of individual therapy and group therapy sessions.

Teen Dialectical Behavior Therapy Strategies

To help teens through their mental health challenges, teen DBT relies on crucial core strategies and techniques.


Teen DBT can help teens develop mindfulness skills. Mindfulness makes it possible for them to live in the moment, focusing on the present. Core mindfulness is a strategy that encourages teens to focus on their senses by paying attention to what they see, smell, hear, and touch without passing judgment on any of it. Mindfulness can help teens focus when they experience intense emotions. It can help them remain calm and not respond by engaging in negative thought patterns or impulsive behaviors.


DBT for teens can also help them develop skills in tolerating distress. Teens can learn self-soothing techniques as well as distraction strategies to pull them out of a crisis. This can help combat intense emotions that might lead to harmful behavior. Building distress tolerance can allow teens to extend their focus to learning techniques that can help them in the long run rather than only seeking relief in the present.


Learning to interact with others in healthier ways is an essential part of our teen dialectical behavior therapy. It allows teens to become more assertive in any kind of interpersonal dynamic. An essential part of this is teaching them how to say “no” while maintaining a healthy and positive relationship. Interpersonal effectiveness can also help teens communicate and listen better, even when dealing with difficult people. It also helps teens respect themselves and others.


DBT can help teens deal with powerful emotions. It can teach them to identify, name, and change the emotion so that it does not cause distress. Recognizing and changing emotions can help a teen feel less out of control and encourage them to take charge of their own mental health.

DBT for Teens at Kiwi Recovery

For teens who face mental health challenges, dialectical behavior therapy can be an important therapeutic tool. It can help teens understand that they do not have to be at the mercy of their emotions because they can control how they react and even change their emotional patterns. Kiwi Recovery offers dialectical behavior therapy as well as other cognitive-behavioral therapies for young adults and teens. No matter what challenges teens face, we can help them navigate the road to recovery. Call Kiwi Recovery today at 617.545.3344 or reach out to us online to hear more about dialectical behavior therapy.