Behavioral therapy is an overarching term to describe specific techniques used to change maladaptive behaviors. Behavioral therapy is rooted in the principles of behaviorism, a psychological school of thought centered on the idea that all behaviors are learned from the environment and can be changed. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an offshoot of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) developed in the late 1980s to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT can help treat other mental health disorders and is commonly used to treat substance use disorders.
Imagine Nampa is an outpatient treatment facility for teens between 12-17. If your teen is struggling with their mental health, our dialectical behavior therapy program can be integral to their individualized treatment plan. Contact our team online or by calling 208.203.8574 to discover the benefits of behavioral therapy.
How Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Work?
As a talk therapy, some of the main goals of DBT are to help teens learn to regulate their emotions and develop healthy ways to manage stress. Through this treatment, many teens also improve their relationships with others. DBT is especially effective in treating teens who exhibit harmful or self-destructive behaviors like eating disorders and addiction. Teens work with a therapist to promote behavioral changes simultaneously.
There are four key components of DBT. Two focus on acceptance, and the other two focus on behavioral change. The modules are:
- Mindfulness — Teens will learn to be more aware and remain in the present moment. Mindfulness is used to promote acceptance through observing their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors without judgment and with less reactivity.
- Distress tolerance — This second acceptance skill helps teens cope with challenging situations and emotional pain. They will also work on accepting them for what they are and letting go of what they think they should be.
- Emotional regulation — Teens learn to identify specific emotions at the moment and learn how to control them and express them in healthy ways.
- Interpersonal effectiveness — Teens learn how to improve their communication in relationships with others, clearly state their needs, and set healthy boundaries.
At Imagine Nampa, DBT can occur in individual or group behavioral counseling sessions and utilizes behavioral and cognitive techniques.
5 Benefits of Behavioral Counseling for Teens
Behavioral therapy focuses on problems and actions. A primary benefit of behavioral therapy is that it can be utilized to treat a wide range of mental health conditions and co-occurring disorders. Other significant benefits of behavioral counseling for teens include:
- Provides concrete, identifiable skills
- Promotes mental flexibility and practical ability to cope under stress
- Helps regulate and amend unproductive, challenging, or maladaptive thought patterns
- Improves communication and interpersonal skills
- Overall improved functioning and better quality of life
While behavioral counseling has numerous advantages and is effective, it is part of a comprehensive approach to adolescent mental health treatment. Behavioral counseling techniques like DBT can help treat mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Research has shown that behavioral therapy techniques are effective regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other identifying factors. Both individual and group therapy sessions incorporate homework that teens need to do in between sessions to learn to integrate the skills they are learning to their everyday life.
Discover the Benefits of Behavioral Therapy for Teens at Imagine Nampa
At Imagine Nampa, we understand that if your teen struggles with mental health or behavioral issues, trying to manage without professional help is overwhelming. We provide high-quality, comprehensive treatment to teens ages 12-17 and their families.
Our outpatient mental health treatment for teens includes:
- Crisis intervention
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Medication management
- Co-occurring disorders intervention
We offer a wide variety of programs and services in a safe, structured, nurturing environment. We support your teen as they step down from our partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs. For instance, we provide thorough discharge planning. This plan can help them transition back into school, the community, and ongoing care. Discover all that we have to offer by calling 208.203.8574 today.