dbt-intensive-3

DBT Intensive Outpatient Program

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Teens & Young Adults

This program is a specialized, sophisticated treatment program for young people with a variety of serious issues that include substance use disorder plus any of the following: severe depression, suicidal ideation, a history of self-harming behaviors, emotional imbalance and other forms of serious emotional difficulty.

Most teens and young adults do not need this type of specialized program. But for young people struggling with the issues listed above, treatment-as-usual generally does not meet their needs. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy teaches young people a wide variety of skills that they learn, practice, and are able to use to create "a life worth living."

But Potomac Pathways DBT Intensive offers more: a warm, caring and supportive environment; experiential elements like yoga and mindfulness meditation; art therapy, music therapy and outings like--hikes by the river, movie nights and-- spa days (not kidding about this-- stress reduction guaranteed!).

Although there are other DBT providers in the area, this program is adapted to specifically address the substance use disorder in addition to the co-occurring mental health issues. And recent research indicates that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can be effective in the treatment of substance use disorders for teens and young adults struggling simultaneously with serious emotional dysregulation (Dimeff, L. & Lineman, M., 2008). This program would not be appropriate for young people who do not have a substance use disorder.

This is what the DBT Intensive Program consists of:

  • Initial Assessment and Individualized Treatment Plan
  • DBT Skills Training groups  (MWF 4:00PM - 6:30PM)
  • Experiential group elements including yoga and mindfulness exercises
  • Individual counseling (weekly)
  • Multi-family group (biweekly)
  • Random drug testing on-site
  • Weekly 12-step speakers meeting
  • Parent and/or family therapy

Click here for program brochure with the details of the clinical program.


Dimeff, L. & Lineman, M., 2008. Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abusers. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, June 2008, pp 39-46.