WHAT DBT-C IS
DBT for children (DBT-C) was developed to address treatment needs of children and adolescents struggling with high emotional sensitivity and impulsive behavior. These children experience emotions at a different level and much stronger than their peers. These children are easily irritated, and their emotions may be so overwhelming that verbal or physical aggression occurs. The main goals of DBT-C are to teach these children adaptive coping skills, effective problem-solving, and parental reinforcement of effective behaviors at home.
DBT-C is heavily parent focused, with parents taking an active role in therapy and at home to provide the interventions. The initial treatment begins with parents only. Once the parents and/or caregivers feel they understand the program and the initial skills to be taught, the child enters treatment in sessions combined with the parents. Homework is provided between sessions, and children are rewarded for practicing skills. DBT-C is an intensive treatment and lasts at a minimum of six months. Abbreviated forms can be applied but have not been studied for effectiveness.
WHAT DBT-C TREATS
DBT-C is for children ages 6-12 who suffer from mood dysregulation, which often manifests as severe temper tantrums. These children may have previously been diagnosed with anxiety disorders, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).