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FAQ’s

What is the process to get started?

After you’ve completed the Parent Interest Form, we can schedule a free 15 minute call and where I’ll a better idea of what your teen’s needs are and exploring whether it’s a good fit to work together.

If you decide to move forward, we will schedule an intake with your teen. This helps prepare your teen for what to expect from the group, teach them the basics of DBT, and make sure they will be a good fit for this group. There is a one-time intake fee of $50 for a 30 minute session.

After the intake, what happens next?

Once your teen is accepted into the program, I will send you the Group Consent Forms and Policy (which you and your teen will sign via a secure HIPPA compliant portal).  You will also make your first payment online.  You will then be sent the link for the password protected online portal with the workbook, additional handouts/worksheets, videos, and audios.

What is the cost?

The cost is $200 per month. You will automatically be charged every month your teen is in the program through a secure online portal.

Do you accept insurance?

We do not accept insurance. Unfortunately, insurance does not usually pay for psycho-educational groups, which are different than therapy groups.

How long is the program?

This is an ongoing, open group, which means there are no set number of sessions required to complete the program.  We ask for a minimum commitment of 6 months (approximately 24 sessions) to give time and space for your teen to become comfortable using the skills being taught. Your teen is welcome to continue in the program beyond the six months if they are benefiting from it and wish to continue.

What if I want to cancel?

You can stop the program prematurely if you wish. Simply provide us with at least 2 weeks notice. Once you cancel, you will not be automatically charged for the next month. Your teen is welcome to continue to participate and have access to the materials until the billing cycle ends. There are no refunds.

What actually happens during the group?

Each session begins with a brief mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is the foundation of DBT and will be practiced every week. There’s no need to have previous experience with mindfulness. Everything will be taught in the group. Then we’ll review the homework and discuss any challenges or successes during the week. The last portion of the group is dedicated to learning a new skill.

The homework in this group is not like homework in school. There’s no grade, no right or wrong. The purpose of the homework is to help teens practice the skills discussed in group and track their emotions/urges. The homework helps teens see tangible (even if they are small changes) from week to week.

Why is there homework?

We understand the demands on a teen’s life and I don’t want to add another stress on their life. The homework assigned is simple and often can be done throughout day-to-day life. For example, you got upset during the week-what happened, what skill did you use, was it helpful, etc.

If for some reason, the homework is not completed, teens won’t get a bad grade. We’ll try to figure out what got in the way, so they will be more likely to complete the homework the following week.

When does the group meet?

Groups meet once a week virtually for 75 minutes 6:15-7:30pm. Actual day will be discussed during screening.

Where does the group meet?

All sessions will be held online via a virtual platform. Details will be sent after registration.

We live in another state. Can my teen participate?

We currently only accept group members who reside in the state of Florida.

How many teens are in a group?

Due to the nature of the program, group sizes are limited to 8-10 participants. Once a group is full, you will be placed on the waiting list until space opens up or another group is created.

What are the age requirements?

At this time, we are offering this program for teen girls 13-17.

Is there a program for preteens?

Not at this time. If you would like to have your preteen participate in a skills group, please complete the Preteen Interest Form here.

Is there a program for parents?

We are currently developing the parenting education and coaching program. Sign up for our mailing list to receive notice when the program begins.

How is this program different from group therapy?

DBT group helps you make changes, but it’s not actually therapy. The therapy part of happens with your individual therapist. This program is based on a curriculum focused on teaching skills, and not processing feelings. This program focuses on educating and supporting teens, as opposed to the processing model that is found in more traditional group therapy programs. 

This purpose of this group is to learn new skills. It functions more like a class (but with more fun!)

How long before I see results?

Here’s the hard part: DBT is a commitment and takes time. Often we want an easy fix to our problems. Just like it took time (maybe several years) to get where you are, it will take time to get your teen/family to a better place in your life. But the secret is you have to do the work. That means attending each class AND doing the homework. The more your teen learns and practice these skills, the better she will feel…trust me! While this course is a big commitment, many teens end up repeating the group after the 6 months is up, because they find it so beneficial.

Can my teen still join even if she has a private therapist?

Yes! In fact, we require group members to have an individual therapist you to have a private therapist prior to joining the group during this process.

Please Note: This group does not replace the need for individual treatment for those engaging in risky behaviors. 

Will talking to other teens give my teen more ideas about acting out or self-harm?

This DBT Skills Training is highly structured around finding more effective ways to cope with problems. If/when the topics of self/harm and acting out come up, the focus is redirected to ways situations could have been handled more effectively. Your facilitator will not allow for detailed discussions surrounding the actual acts of self-harm. Generally, the teens quickly become skilled at providing positive suggestions for other members, which in turn, help to modify their behaviors. 

What about confidentiality?

Each group member’s privacy and confidentiality is taken very seriously! All members of the group will sign a contract agreeing to uphold confidentiality at all times. However, there are situations where confidentiality cannot be upheld and I have to let the appropriate people know if keep people safe. If a teen wants to hurt herself, hurt someone else, or someone is hurting her or someone else, I will have to let the appropriate people/authorities know.

Group members will be required to sign the Informed Group Policies form in which they agree to keep group meetings private.

What technology will my teen need to participate in the program?

  • A computer or device that your teen can access the online platform
  • High speed internet connection
  • Headphones/earbuds with a microphone
  • A device with a camera
  • Google Meet video platform (We use Google Meet “telehealth” which is fully encrypted end to end and meets privacy requirements to keep your teen’s privacy protected)
  • Optional: access YouTube to watch suggested videos

Is the online platform secure? 

We use a confidential, HIPAA secure video platform.

What other materials does my teen need?

A journal or notebook dedicated to this class is recommended. This is in addition to the guided practices and extra activities I provide in the online portal.

What if my teen doesn’t want to appear on camera?

We understand that being on camera can create a lot of anxiety. A huge fear of teens participating in groups is the potential of feeling embarrassed in front of others. Having to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences can be extremely triggering. For safety and confidentiality reasons, we require that the teen’s camera is turned on.  Blocking their faces using non-threatening, pre-approved partial masks that still allow for speech to be heard is acceptable. 

My teen is not comfortable sharing, especially in front of strangers. Will she be forced to participate?

They will not be pressured to speak, but encouraged to share. They can also ask questions or make comments via the chat if they prefer. However, the power of being a group is powerful!  It’s a safe place for teens to be themselves and let their guard down and join in the conversation.

Can my teen catch up on other things, like homework or chores, during the group?

No. To get the full benefit of the program, teens should be fully engaged and not distracted. In addition, it is not respectful to the facilitator and other participants if someone is visibly not paying attention.

Teens should be in a secure location and not driving, or engaging in activities where their lives could be at risk if they become emotionally upset. The classes are important and will need their full attention. 

What if my teen cannot make all the sessions?

To get the true benefit of the program, all classes should be attended; but as we all know, things come up. If a student misses a session, they can still have access to the worksheets and other materials uploaded after class. To get the full benefit of the classes, teens should not miss more than 4 classes.

Criteria for Group

  • The teen displays unsafe or self-destructive behaviors and has difficulty regulating her feelings.
  • The teen has the cognitive ability to follow the curriculum and do homework.
  • The teen is willing to participate and attend sessions.
  • The teen is committed to following group standards and guidelines.
  • The teen has an individual therapist to help process emotions and reinforce skills taught in group.
  • If there are psychotic symptoms, they would not significantly interfere with learning.

Exceptions

If your teen is violent, engaging in risky or problem sexual behaviors, actively abusing drugs or alcohol, or actively psychotic, they may not be appropriate for this group. Group needs to feel safe for all members and if your teen is struggling with one of these issues, they may need to focus on individual therapy to work on some of these concerns before considering joining a group.

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