What is one of the first things you are told after you board an airplane?

“Take the air mask and place it over your own mouth before helping a child” This is one of the fundamental principles DBT teaches parents. Your own self-care is crucial. You cannot pour from an empty cup. When you have mastered and modeled your own emotion regulation and stress management skills, your child will do better.
As a mother or a father, you’re always looking for the best ways to support and nurture your child. When your child is struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, or an eating disorder, the challenge becomes even more significant. Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery, a leading provider of Comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy is here to help you understand the benefits of DBT and how it can both support you as a parent, and have a positive and lasting impact on your child’s recovery journey.

Parent Hugging teen

What is DBT?

DBT is the Most Comprehensive Curriculum of Coping Skills we have today!

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan.  It combines Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques with mindfulness practices and has been proven to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions – anxiety, depression, trauma, and eating disorders. Dialectical Behavior Therapy was developed by Dr. Linehan for individuals with serious mental health symptoms. It is now widely used to promote coping skills with individuals with mental health and medical health concerns. DBT has now been developed as a  Prevention Model for  children, be sure to read DBT in Schools  by Dr. James Mazza and Dr. Elizabeth Mazza.

We are doing the best we can…. AND we have to try harder….

DBT promotes  self-compassion in parents – to understand that they are doing the best they can AND  always want to find new ways to improve.  DBT gives parents the tools to master parenthood in novel ways. Each day and each stage of childhood brings new challenges for a parent. You may still be looking for that manual that you  felt you should have been given when you had your newborn.  DBT skills training can give you a way to  increase your coping skills and your interpersonal effectiveness, and those in your child.

While we are on the topic of compassion, let’s bear in mind that your parents did not receive a parenting manual upon your birth, either. Your parents did the best they could, at the time, with what they knew, and with what they were given.  It takes some folks, a lifetime to accept that.    If your goal is to do even better than the generation before you did, Dialectical Behavior Therapy can teach you coping skills you may never have been taught.

What are the 5 DBT Coping Skills? How can they help me be a better parent?

DBT focuses on five key Coping Skill areas: Core Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance,  Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Middle Path. These skills help both parents and children, better understand their  emotions, thoughts, feelings, and actions, allowing both you and your child to cope better and become more resilient, make better choices, and have effective communication skills.

Core Mindfulness: This skill helps  you stay in the moment. Today’s pressures push parents and teens to be multi-taskers more than ever, and lose sight of true quality time with our children. Quality time can happen anywhere. I bet your child has caught you being distracted and not listening. What does that feel like? Being present and focused is another important skill  for parents to model.  Understanding the concepts of Emotion Mind, Reasonable Mind and Wise Mind, is a great strategy to helping a parent to not overreact and to not engage a teenager in a powerful struggle.

Emotion Regulation: DBT teaches an individual how to identify when one is experiencing intense emotions that can be difficult to manage. DBT skills teaches one  to identify when they are in Emotion Mind. What happens when you overreact? How does that impact your child? Make things better or worse? Air mask on first! When you have a handle on your raw emotions, your child will do better.

Distress Tolerance: DBT helps your child develop skills to tolerate and cope with distressing situations without resorting to self harm or eating disorder disorder behaviors. When you, as the parent,  are able to calm your own emotions, and develop your own distress tolerance skills, your child will have you as a role model. Everyone in the family can find new and improved ways to cope with distress and discomfort.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: DBT focuses on improving communication and assertiveness skills, which can help your child express their needs and set boundaries in relationships. Assertiveness Training is the DEAR MAN Skill.  The GIVE and FAST skills are the Validation Skills. Your own training in DBT Validation Skills,  has been described as a Game-Changer by many of the parents we have worked with. What happens to adolescent power struggle  when you calmly validate your child’s feelings and don’t overreact?

Middle Path – DBT is founded on the concept of Dialectics. Dialectics is where two ideas or views seem opposite, but both can be true.  The truth is in the middle. There is always more than one way to see a situation and more than one way to solve a problem. Finding the middle path truth is a great strategy in developing positive peer and family relationships, for you and for your child.

Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery: Your Partner in DBT for  Mental Health Resiliency and Eating Disorder Recovery

At Resilience , our compassionate and skilled therapists have dual specialty the Treatment of Eating Disorders and  in DBT for  mental health conditions, the anxiety disorder, mood disorders, trauma, grief/loss.. We understand the unique challenges faced by mothers and fathers in supporting a child in recovery. Our Comprehensive DBT program ensures that you and your child receive the guidance and support needed to develop essential coping skills and promote lasting recovery.

 Adherent DBT for adolescents, offered at Resilience, is the Multi-Family Skills Group model. By mastering DBT skills along with your child, you both can gain a better mastery of emotions and  access your inner resilience. As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s  recovery journey.  Resilience  is here to support you every step of the way.

As a parent, supporting your child’s journey from an eating disorder or  mental health condition. can be challenging and exhausting but DBT offers a powerful and evidence-based approach to help you learn, re-learn and model coping skills as you  regain control by putting  your air mask on first,  and  as you guide your child to put on their own air mask. The end result is to achieve a healthier, happier family life. Reach out to Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery  today to learn more about our DBT and DBT-ED programs. We are here to  support your family to enhance your unique strengths as a family.

Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery

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