Therapy Services for Adolescents

The DBT Centre of Vancouver provides a range of evidence-based psychological services for adolescents and their families. We offer both individual and group psychotherapy and will individually tailor the treatment to best meet your needs. Our comprehensive DBT program for adolescents and their families is provided in adherence with the DBT model developed by Drs. Marsha Linehan and Alec Miller.

Intake Assessments

Our services start with an intake assessment where the adolescent and their caregiver(s) will begin by filling out some important forms and questionnaires. The family will then generally meet briefly together with a clinician at the beginning of the assessment to discuss the agenda and answer any initial questions. The clinician will then meet individually with the client for approximately 1.5 – 2 hours to discuss what is bringing them in for treatment and gather a history of their problems. At the end of the assessment, the clinician will then typically bring the family in again together to discuss parental concerns, share diagnostic impressions, and answer any related questions to help in selecting the best treatment. We will also write up a report summarizing this information and our findings.

Individual Therapy

We offer a range of individual therapy services including dialectical behaviour therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and mindfulness and acceptance based treatments. Our individual therapy is designed to address a variety of problems including challenges with mood, anxiety, suicide or self-harm, drug and alcohol use, eating disordered behaviour, and problems managing intense emotions. The one-on-one sessions typically occur individually with the adolescent for 50 minutes per week with the length of the treatment dependent on individual needs. Caregiver(s) are generally welcome to intermittently attend a portion of these sessions to discuss questions, concerns, and progress. We prefer to have these conversations with the adolescent present to assist the family in better working with one another.

Group Skills Training

We also offer ongoing DBT Skills Training Groups for adolescents and their caregiver(s). These groups, which are structured much like a class, meet weekly for 1.5 hours over the course of 26 weeks and are designed to provide participants with concrete strategies for building better lives. Specifically, we teach families the following sets of skills.

  • Mindfulness Skills – to help clients be more aware of their thoughts and feelings, less judgmental of themselves and others, and more alert to the present moment.
  • Distress Tolerance Skills – to provide people with a variety of strategies for more effectively managing stressful situations and being more accepting of things they cannot change.
  • Walking the Middle Path Skills – to teach participants ways to better understand one another’s point of view, promote greater communication, and encourage the use of effective contingency management techniques.
  • Emotion Regulation Skills – to assist people in better managing their emotions by providing strategies for increasing emotional awareness, decreasing emotional vulnerabilities, and changing unwanted emotions.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills – to teach clients skills for more effectively asking for what one wants, building more meaningful relationships, and feeling good about oneself when doing so.

Telephone Consultation

Our clinicians are also available to our adolescent clients in-between sessions for telephone calls. These calls are designed to provide assistance and help build adaptive coping behaviours in difficult situations. They can be used to strengthen existing skills and help clients better generalize learned skills to the world around them.

To find out more about the other services available to caregivers, please visit our Consultation for Family and Loved Ones page.


You can click here for a list of our fees.

To schedule an intake assessment, call 604-569-1156 . If you have any questions, please call or email