Multi-Family Adolescent Program (Ages 13-17)

Multi-Family Adolescent Group is a four-month program for teens and their families. Parents/caregivers and their teens will learn powerful and evidence-based DBT skills in a dynamic and interactive educational setting. Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and the fifth module of Walking the Middle Path, are incorporated in this curriculum covering issues such as how to manage crisis within the family, and communicate effectively, learn ways to tolerate life’s stressors, and problem solve difficult emotions and behaviors, and understand more about normal teen behaviors versus problematic behaviors.

Skills taught are:

Core Mindfulness: This is the foundation that all the other skills are built upon.
Emotion Regulation: Learn how to understand your emotions, and how to use them skillfully and effectively.
Walking the Middle Path: Learn how to create new behaviors in yourself and others.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: Learn how to communicate with each other in a way that is effective and validating.
Distress Tolerance: Learn effective ways to distract and soothe yourself while considering pros and cons of your actions.

Participation in the Multi-Family Adolescent Group

  • Increases teens and family’s capabilities by teaching specific skills for self-regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and balanced thinking and acting
  • Structures the environment to motivate, reinforce, and individualize appropriate use of the skills
  • Improves the teens and family’s motivation to increase the use of new skills, reduce prior dysfunctional behaviors, and identify factors that led to the problematic behaviors
  • Educates on the biosocial theory which helps to explain the vulnerabilities of the teen to the problematic behaviors

Class size is limited to approximately 15 people in various configurations of family, usually two to three members per family. An initial 90-minute family assessment is required.

The Multi-Family Adolescent Group is based on the curriculum of Alec Miller and Jill Rathus, and combines Dr. Marsha Linehan’s Skills Training Manual with an additional module, Walking the Middle Path which focuses on parent/teen dilemmas.