Frequently Asked Questions
So what actually happens during the program?
Each session begins with a brief mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is the foundation of DBT and will be practiced every week. There's no need to have previous experience with mindfulness. Everything will be taught in the group.
Then we'll review the homework and discuss any challenges or successes during the week.
The last portion of the group is dedicated to learning a new skill.
Why is there homework?
The homework in this group is not like homework in school. There's no grade, no right or wrong. The purpose of the homework is to help teens practice the skills discussed in group and track their emotions/urges. The homework helps teens see tangible (even if they are small changes) from week to week.
We understand the demands on a teen's life and I don't want to add another stress on their life. The homework assigned is simple and often can be done throughout day-to-day life (for example, when you find yourself getting upset, you can use that opportunity to practice that skill).
If for some reason, the homework is not completed, teens won't get a bad grade. We'll try to figure out what got in the way, so they will be more likely to complete the homework the following week.
When does the group meet? Groups meet once a week virtually every Wednesday from 7:00-8:30pm.
The group is ongoing so you can join anytime provided there is space in the group.
Where does the group meet?
All sessions will be held online via a virtual platform. Details will be sent after registration.
I live in another state. Can my teen participate?
At this time the program is open to teens who reside in Florida.
How long is the program?
It takes approximately 6 months to go through all the modules in the program. To gain the full benefits of the program, teens should commit to at least 6 months. We have found that teens who commit to this extended learning make the most progress. It is a commitment because change takes time.
Teens are welcome to continue in the program beyond the six months if they are benefiting from the program and wish to continue. Memberships can be canceled anytime.
What are the age requirements?
At this time, we are offering this program for teen girls in high school ages 13-17.
Do you have a program for middle schoolers?
There is not a group for middle school girls at this time. However, please contact us to be placed on the waiting list.
Is there a program for parents?
We are currently developing the parenting education and coaching program. Sign up for our mailing list to receive notice when the program begins.
How is this program different from group therapy?
DBT group helps you make changes, but it’s not actually therapy. The therapy part of happens with your individual therapist.
This program focuses on educating and supporting teens, as opposed to the processing model that is found in more traditional group therapy programs.
This purpose of this group is to learn new skills. It functions more like a class (but with more fun!)
There will be homework each week, where teens will practice the skills taught in the group.
How long before I see results?
Here's the hard part: DBT is a commitment and takes time. Often we want an easy fix to our problems. Just like it took time (maybe several years) to get where you are, it will take time to get you to a better place in your life. But the secret is you have to do the work. That means attending each class AND doing the homework. The more you learn and practice these skills, the better you will feel...trust me!
While this course is a big commitment, many teens end up repeating the group after the 6 months is up, because they find it so beneficial.
Can my teen still join even if I have a therapist?
Yes! In fact, we encourage you to have a private therapist during this process.
Please Note: This group does not replace the need for individual treatment for those engaging in risky behaviors.
Will talking to other tweens/teens give my teen more ideas about acting out or self-harm?
This DBT Skills Training is highly structured around finding more effective ways to cope with problems. If/when the topics of self/harm and acting out come up, the focus is redirected to ways situations could have been handled more effectively. Your facilitator will not allow for detailed discussions surrounding the actual acts of self-harm. Generally, the adolescents quickly become skilled at providing positive suggestions for other members, which in turn, help to modify their behaviors.
What technology will my teen need to participate in the program?
- A computer or device that your teen can access the online platform
- High speed internet connection
- Headphones/earbuds with a microphone
- A device with a camera
Zoom video platform (We use Zoom “telehealth” which is fully encrypted end to end and meets privacy requirements to keep your privacy protected)
Optional: access You Tube to watch suggested videos
Is the platform secure?
We use a confidential, HIPAA secure video platform.
What other materials does my teen need?
A journal or notebook dedicated to this class is recommended. This is in addition to the guided practices and extra activities I provide in the online portal.
What if my teen does not want to appear on camera?
We understand that being on camera can create a lot of anxiety. A huge fear of teens participating in groups is the potential of feeling embarrassed in front of others. Having to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences can be extremely triggering.
For safety and confidentiality reasons, we ask that the teen's camera is turned on, but her face does not have to be on camera the entire time, only during attendance. They will not be pressured to speak, but encouraged to share. They can also ask questions or make comments via the chat if they prefer.
My teen is not comfortable sharing, especially in front of strangers. Will she be forced to participate?
Unlike other groups, this group is not a process or support group, where teens spend time processing feelings with one another. Teens will only share details of their personal lives if they choose to and only as they relate to use of the skills.
Can my teen catch up on other things, like homework or chores, during the classes?
No. To get the full benefit of the program, teens should be fully engaged and not distracted. In addition, it is not respectful to the facilitator and other participants if someone is visibly not paying attention.
Teens should be in a secure location and not driving, or engaging in activities where their lives could be at risk if they become emotionally upset. The classes are important and will need their full attention.
What if my teen doesn't like it?
If your teen decides that this class is not a good fit for them, it's okay. We ask for six month commitment to give time and space for the learning process.
If you want to stop the program prematurely, you can do so with 30 day’s notice. We require you let us know, in writing, 30 days before the start of the next month’s session. Your teen is welcome to continue in the program beyond the six months if they are benefiting from the program and wish to continue.
What if my teen cannot make all the sessions?
To get the true benefit of the program, all classes should be attended; but as we all know, things come up. If a student misses a session, they can still have access to the worksheets and other materials uploaded after class. To get the full benefit of the classes, teens should not miss more than 4 classes.