DBT with Adolescents: Helping Teens Build a Life Worth Living

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DBT with Adolescents: Helping Teens Build a Life Worth Living

12 May, 2022 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm CDT

Treating teenagers who struggle with pervasive emotion dysregulation and are at high risk for suicidal behavior and self-injury can be overwhelming and challenging for therapists. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an evidenced based treatment initially created to treat adults with suicidal behaviors and Borderline Personality Disorder, has been adapted to help teenagers learn to manage their severe emotion dysregulation and build a life worth living. In this training you will receive an overview of DBT’s structure; learn ways DBT has been adapted for adolescents and their families; identify adolescents who would benefit from the treatment and learn about the DBT skills.


  1. Describe the structure and treatment targets of DBT
  2. Identify adolescent clients that are appropriate for DBT
  3. Understand the adaptations made to standard DBT to address the needs of adolescents and their families.
  4. Teach the adolescent specific skill: Walking the Middle Path


Emily Phillips Dreher, LPC, NCC, DBT-LBC

Emily is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Linehan Board Certified DBT Clinician. She is currently the Leader of Clinical Services at Sparlin Mental Health. Her role entails supervising clinicians, managing clinical programming, and providing individual therapy to adolescents and adults. As a DBT clinician, she works primarily with individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder who struggle with chronic suicidal ideation, frequent psychiatric hospitalizations, non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors and pervasive emotion dysregulation. She also specializes in treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by utilizing Prolonged Exposure therapy. Her background includes working in several settings with diverse populations, including providing intensive community-based crisis counseling.