Communication Strategies: Using DBT Skills to Work With Emotionally Sensitive or Distressed Youth



Friday, March 23, 2018
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Jennifer Eaton, LMHC & Jamelle Greene, Ph.D.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was originally created by Marsha Linehan to treat adult women with chronic suicidality and those with borderline personality disorder. However, DBT has moved into the mainstream and is increasingly used with a wide range of people and conditions.

DBT has been proven to be effective with people who are in persistent emotional distress, have chronically unstable relationships, and present with recurrent self-injury and/or suicidal behavior. DBT has been used to treat high performing, but distressed students, seriously disturbed adolescents, people with eating disorders, substance use disorders and people with persistent mental illness and/or developmental disabilities.

Young people experience increased pressure to perform academically and socially. The development of social media is causing youth to feel pressured to stay current. At the same time, youth are increasingly reliant on this indirect method of communication and are having difficulty directly communicating their emotions and needs to others. These pressures can complicate the adolescent development tasks of self-exploration, identifying values, and preparing for adulthood.

Although DBT is a treatment method, it is also an effective package of coping skills for people who have emotional sensitivity but do not need extensive mental health care. This DBT skills package is currently being used in schools as an intervention and prevention model which will help all students obtain necessary life skills.

This training will prepare you to use and teach specific DBT skills to youth and those who support them.

Following this training, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate emotion regulation strategies to help youth understand their emotional sensitivity
  • Demonstrate strategies to increase clients’ awareness of their emotions, and experience emotions effectively
  • Demonstrate communication strategies to utilize when communicating with emotionally sensitive youth to help the youth stay emotionally regulated and mindful during the conversation
  • Demonstrate strategies to teach select interpersonal effectiveness skills to youth and their support network to increase effective communication
  • Demonstrate select distress tolerance skills to utilize when attending to youth in distress or displaying high emotion
  • Learn select distress tolerance skills to utilize when attending to youth in distress or displaying high emotion

Jennifer Eaton, M.S., LMHC, is the Director of DBT Training and Consultation for The Bridge of Central Massachusetts, Inc. Ms. Eaton, holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She was intensively trained in DBT by Dr. Charles Swenson and completed an Advanced Intensive Training under Dr. Marsha Linehan, the developer of DBT. Ms. Eaton has presented numerous times at the annual ISITDBT Conference, and at various local and national conferences. Ms. Eaton maintains a private practice specializing in DBT.

Ms. Eaton has consulted and trained many organizations including: Harvard-Vanguard Behavioral Health, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, New York State Office of Development Disabilities, Alabama Mentoring Network, Denver Health Systems, The Mental Health Association of Lowell, Community Counseling of Bristol County, Baycove Human Services, The Key Program, and Deveraux,

In addition, Ms. Eaton has provided training at the following schools: Assabet Valley Collaborative, Dover-Sherborn, Fairfield CT, Greenwich CT, Mendon-Upton Regional Schools, Milford, Millis, Nashoba Regional, Reading, Scituate, Wachusett Regional, Westborough and Westport CT.

Jamelle Greene, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and received her Dialectical Behavior Training (DBT) through Behavioral Tech, LLC's “Comprehensive Training for Independent Practioners” She attended two-weeks of on-site intensive and advanced intensive trainings taught by Adam Payne, PhD and Elizabeth Dexter-Mazza, PsyD, and completed over 50 hours of online courses focused on practicing adherent DBT.

Dr. Greene is currently in part-time private practice in Framingham, where she specializes in treating people with emotion dysregulation, mood disorders, anxiety, and/or attachment-trauma disorders. She also serves as the psychologist at Arlington Youth Counseling Center. She has run several skills groups for adolescents both in private practice and in community mental health settings.

Dr. Greene began her career in education, working in both public and independent schools. She continues to consult to school counselors and teachers on a wide range of psychological issues relevant to educational settings.

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