Polaris – Adolescent & Family DBT

Polaris: Adolescent and Family DBT Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of therapy created by Marsha Linehan, PhD, specifically for people who have difficulty tolerating and regulating challenging emotions. These individuals often develop strategies for coping with these intense emotions that help them feel better in the short term but end up causing more suffering in the long term. These individuals often make impulsive, emotionally driven decisions and struggle with self-destructive coping behaviors such as self-injury, suicidal thoughts, substance use and chronic avoidance.

Comprehensive DBT treatment must include the following elements: Individual therapy, skills training groups, phone coaching, and the therapist and group facilitators must be active members of a DBT consult team.

The IOP model is intended for individuals who have tried a less intensive level of therapy and have not achieved the stability they want. It can also be beneficial for individuals demonstrating an escalation of behaviors that could lead to hospitalization or as a step-down from an inpatient or residential setting.

DBT can be helpful for teens who:

  • Have trouble tolerating difficult emotions
  • Are experiencing depression and/or anxiety
  • Have engaged in self-destructive coping behaviors
  • Often make impulsive, emotionally driven decisions
  • Have trouble asking for help effectively
  • Struggle with relationships
  • Are interested and motivated to make positive changes in their lives

IOP can be helpful for individuals who:

  • Have tried a less intensive level of therapy
  • Have not achieved the level of stability they want
  • Have demonstrated an escalation of behaviors that could lead to hospitalization
  • Are stepping down from inpatient or residential treatment

Adolescents are typically enrolled for 6 weeks. Both the teen and the caregiver are required to participate. The adolescent will participate 3-5 days per week from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. The caregiver will participate 1-2 days per week for 1-2 hours, including the initial intake, multi-family DBT skills group (Tuesdays 3:30pm – 5:00pm) and family therapy sessions. The caregiver participating in the program does not need to be the legal guardian. If the caregiver is not the legal guardian, the guardian will need to be present at the intake.

Program Contact:

Rebecca (Becky) White, MS, LCMHC – Program Director
34 Barre Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802.828.3983
Fax: 802.223.0842

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