Parents Who Over-Function and How It Hurts Their Kids

Posted by Cindy Finch, LCSW in Family Therapy


Much has been said, these days, about the practice of Adulting. This term is used to refer to what The Oxford Dictionary calls, “The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.”

As a therapist, I often meet with parents of these young adults who are very worried about their kids. They tell of grown children who are still living with them, working only part time or not at all, not paying rent or doing chores and even relying on parents to cook for them, wake them up in the morning, make their appointments and pay their bills. Some parents say their kids use drugs in their home and even control the entire family’s moods with their poor behaviors. What’s a family to do?


DBT Center Of Orange County Achieves Behavioral Health Care Accreditation From The Joint Commission

Posted by DBT Center of Orange County in News, Recent Work


Newport Beach, CA – March 13, 2018 – DBT Center of Orange County today announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.

DBT Center of Orange County underwent a rigorous onsite survey in February 2018. During the review, compliance with behavioral health care standards related to several areas, including care, treatment, and services; environment of care; leadership; and screening procedures for the early detection of imminent harm was evaluated. Onsite observations and interviews also were conducted.


Coping with the Holidays

Posted by Nora Josephson LPC, RYT in Benefits of DBT


The holidays can be a stressful time for all of us! Discover ways to cope during the holidays using DBT skills including: Cope Ahead, PLEASE and Effective Rethinking and Paired Relaxation by reading below!

Cope Ahead is such an important skill to prepare ahead of time for stressful situations. Read through the following instructions to prepare for, imagine and practice coping effectively with a stressful situation.

Most importantly, the DBT Center of Orange County wishes you a Peaceful and Joyful Holiday Season.


Exploring The Science Behind Yoga

Posted by Kathy Du Vernet, M.S., CYT, E-RYT 500 in Mindfulness


A new film on UPLIFT, The Science Behind Yoga, interviews a variety of experts to discuss the scientific evidence showing the many benefits of yoga. This, along with other research on yoga and meditation, is good news for yogis to share with their more skeptical friends who often want to see “hard evidence.” As yogis, we have personally experienced and touted the benefits of our practices, and now modern science is reporting significant evidence supporting many of our claims!

Yoga and meditation can help re-shape the brain as well as reduce stress and anxiety

According to neuroscientists, as individuals continue to meditate and engage in meditative body-mind practices such as yoga, the brain actually begins to reshape itself. Studies have shown that yoga and other mindfulness-based practices can reduce stress and anxiety, and improve physical health by activating the parasympathetic nervous system which allows an individual to relax.  Over 160 of these studies have shown that meditation had a positive effect on improving anxiety and stress, and research with people who had clinical levels of anxiety found that 90% of those studied experienced significant reductions in their anxiety.  

Self Criticism or Self Compassion

Posted by Kathy Purdy MFTI in Benefits of DBT


An important aspect of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is recognizing self-criticism and judgments and cultivating self-compassion.  This is something most of our patients work on every day.  Recently, an article in the Huffington Post made a convincing case for why self-compassion is more effective and helpful than self-criticism.

Additionally, Dr. Kristin Neff, who is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion, speaks about three core components of self-compassion.  I hope this article and YouTube video help to motivate us all to question how effective our own self-criticism has been and to consider including more self-compassion into our lives.  

Don’t Wreck Your Marriage!

Posted by Cindy Finch, LCSW in Family Therapy


Dear Reader,

If you want to gain valuable tools to grow a strong marriage, save a failing one, and possibly avoid a divorce, then read on as I share what couples can do to make or break their relationships...

Marriage Wrecker

Don’t Grow Up Emotionally

If you’re not going to grow up, you will wreck your marriage. In a therapy session, if one partner says, “I feel like I have an extra child because I am married to this person,” it is likely that this partner has failed to grow up emotionally. You’d be surprised to know how many highly successful adults in the business and professional world are actually emotional infants. Emotionally immature people:

  • Look for others to take care of them
  • Take disagreements personally
  • Are only happy when things go their way
  • Quickly unravel when disappointment, stress, or tragedy enter the picture

Peace is a Choice

Posted by Dana Conley, M.A., C.Ht. in Benefits of DBT


"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart." (Unknown)

The unknown individual, to whom this quote is attributed, had a great perspective about what "please" means. I imagine they knew how to get to that place of peace within them and what it meant to be calm in their heart.

What does it mean to be calm in your heart? How do you get to that place within you amidst the noise, trouble, and hard work around you?

To me, being calm in my heart is an experience of INNER PEACE. When I am calm in my heart, I feel peaceful. It also means to be OK with what is... That means being OK with what is happening around me, what is happening to me, and what is happening within me – and doing so without judging anything as bad or wrong, noisy or hard.


Making Sense of Borderline Personality Disorder

Posted by Dr. Michele Lob PsyD., MFT, CEDS in Benefits of DBT

After the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Dr. Marsha Linehan, acknowledged her own struggle with BPD in an article in the New York Times in 2011, she brought greater attention and understanding to what is endured by people who have this diagnosis.  When a patient is challenging and resistant to therapists’ suggestions, they are often labeled as having BPD. This stigma teaches a person to think of themselves as a hopeless victim, with inescapable character traits that make them feel angry, unlovable, empty, and helpless.

I personally don’t like the diagnosis of BPD because of the negative connotation the label suggests.  Instead, I prefer to view this as a struggle with emotion regulation, hypersensitivity, and lack of skillfulness in dealing with inner and outer personal struggles.  As Linehan argues, a more accurate name for this condition is “emotion dysregulation disorder.” 

Meditation Changes the Brain’s Response to Stress

Posted by Dr. Michele Lob PsyD., MFT, CEDS in Benefits of DBT


High levels of chronic stress affect every system in our bodies. However, studies show that mindfulness practices help to break this harmful cycle!  New research from Carnegie Mellon University (February 2016) provides a window into the brain changes that links mindfulness meditation training with the health of stressed adults.

According to the World Health Organization, stress in the workplace costs American business approximately $300 billion per year largely in the form of higher health care costs, employee absences, and reduced productivity.  There is a substantive toll that psychological stress-related disease places on individuals and families! 

Practicing DBT “WHAT” Skills

Posted by Jennifer Plisko LCSW DBT Center of Orange County in Benefits of DBT


"In today's ru­­­­­sh, we all think too much-seek too much-want too much-and forget about the joy of being."

Eckhart Tolle

Dialectical Behavior Therapy encourages you to “stay in the present moment” with awareness of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors – without Judgment!  This concept is foundational to Mindfulness, one of the DBT principles we teach.  The Mindfulness module incorporates the “What” skill of Observe, Describe, and Participate.  Mindfulness encourages you to connect with yourself, others, and the world around you in a new way.  It is easy to disconnect from ourselves and the present moment and to become consumed by an unpredictable world filled with anxiety, material distractions, work and social demands, and of course technology.  The truth is, we disconnect from ourselves and from the present moment when we become lost in an unfocused world of rampant thoughts, intense emotions, and physical discomfort.