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February 8th, 2021

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) for Kids

Child Therapy

This type of therapy assists in providing support for two elements at once, hence the word dialectical. It combines the core principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness. It’s a true combination of the “I am doing the best I can” with the “I need to do better.”

What does Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for Kids help with?

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can be used to treat various mental health conditions in kids, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, eating disorders, and drug abuse [1]. DBT can be especially helpful for children and teenagers who experience emotional dysregulation and corresponding behavioural challenges. These children may experience emotions on a different level.

Studies have shown DBT to be an effective treatment for reducing self-harming behaviour, decreasing hospitalizations and ER visits, while decreasing depression and anxiety in children and adolescents [2]. DBT is a modified type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that helps children and teenagers understand how thoughts affect emotions and behaviours, and it aims to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, and improve their relationships with others [3].

This evidence-based model has been used to support adolescents for (but not limited to) anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorders as well as those with extreme emotional instability. Many have reported success by blending the acceptance strategies of Mindfulness with the change elements of CBT.



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