DBT Outpatient (Standard DBT) Program

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Teens & Young Adults

This program is intended for young people who have already established at least a couple months of sobriety from substance use, and require continuing support for recovery. The program meets less frequently than our DBT Intensive program, but is also designed to support young people in recovery from substance abuse and co-occurring issues which may include any of the following: depression, suicidal ideation, a history of self-harming behaviors, emotional imbalance and other forms of emotional difficulty.

If you are searching for continuing care for a young person returning home from residential treatment, or for a young person who has completed Potomac Pathways' DBT Intensive program, read on. This "standard" level of DBT care may be exactly the right thing.

If you're looking for help for a young person who is coming directly out of the hospital, or has not previously had treatment and whose symptoms are comparatively severe, click here, and take a look at the DBT Intensive program.

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."

Potomac Pathways DBT Outpatient offers the same elements as our DBT Intensive program: a warm, caring and supportive environment; experiential elements like yoga and mindfulness meditation; events in the community and more. Like the more intensive program, DBT Outpatient at Potomac Pathways also includes the five modules of cognitive-behavioral skills training.

Although there are other DBT providers in the area, the DBT programs at Potomac Pathways are 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 are not in recovery from substance abuse. Potomac Pathways DBT Outpatient includes the "DBT plus substance abuse treatment"  adaptations by Marsha Lineman, PhD and colleagues.

This is what the DBT Outpatient program consists of:

  • Initial Assessment and Individualized Treatment Plan
  • DBT Skills Training group  (Thursdays, 5:00PM - 7:00PM)
  • Experiential group elements including yoga and mindfulness exercises
  • Individual therapy (1 hour weekly)
  • Multi-family group (monthly)
  • Random drug testing on-site
  • Weekly 12-step speakers meeting (Fridays, 5:30PM - 6:30PM)
  • Family therapy (bi-weekly)
  • Community Activities (Bi-weekly, usually every other Saturday afternoon)
  • Phone coaching for both client and parents (Therapist on-call for DBT skills coaching)

Click here for program brochure with more details.