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ADOLESCENT DBT SKILLS GROUP

Ages: 14-18

Tuesdays: 6:30-8:30pm

Groups will meet once weekly for a duration of six to nine months with monthly parent meetings.


New groups starting January 2019.

Sometimes, teens feel invincible – and yet there are other times when they struggle with anger, sadness, self-esteem, and even substance use. Oak Ridge Center has openings in their Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18. DBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy program. These group sessions help individuals handle stress/anxiety, improve relationships, and manage emotions. These weekly sessions teach mindfulness, acceptance, and cognitive-behavioral skills -while also assisting clients to apply them in real-life situations.


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Individual Therapy: Types

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy used to treat a variety of mental health concerns (such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems). CBT focuses on an individual’s thoughts and assumptions about life, themselves, other people, their past and the future. It is based on learning theory. The underlying concept behind CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a fundamental role in our behavior. For example, if an individual thinks that “people are out for themselves”, it will inevitably affect their feelings and interactions with people with whom they are not familiar. Another example is, if an individual thinks “I’m not very smart”, it may impact the way they feel about themselves, their ambitions and how they see themselves in comparison with others. When an individual has thoughts or assumptions that are distorted or not based on objective information, it can contribute to depression and anxiety. CBT is a process by which an individual becomes more aware of distorted and/or negative thoughts and assumptions, and the behaviors associated with them. Once identified as distorted and maladaptive, therapy is a process in which the thoughts, assumptions and behaviors are replaced with those that are more adaptive. The therapist’s role is to guide the individual through this process. This may be done by discussion and analysis of the individual’s every day experiences, journaling, learning coping skills and doing homework assignments. CBT is empirically supported and has been shown to effectively help patients overcome a wide variety of maladaptive behaviors.


Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior. The goal is increased awareness of unresolved conflict in past maladaptive relationships and the impact this has on present day behaviors and relationships. The relationship between the therapist and the individual functions as a window into maladaptive relationship patterns in the individual’s life. It is expected that with insight, the individual will change maladaptive responses.


Integrative or Eclectic Therapy

Many therapists don’t tie themselves to any one approach. Instead, they blend elements from different approaches and tailor their treatment according to each client’s needs.

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a procedure during which a health professional suggests changes in sensations, perception, thoughts or behavior. The hypnotic context is generally established by an induction procedure. Although there are many different hypnotic inductions, most include suggestions for relaxation, calmness, and well-being. Instructions to imagine or think about pleasant experiences are also commonly included in hypnotic inductions. People respond to hypnosis in different ways. Some describe their experience as an altered state of consciousness. Others describe hypnosis as a normal state of focused attention, in which they feel very calm and relaxed. Regardless of how and to what degree they respond, most people describe the experience as very pleasant. Some people are very responsive to hypnotic suggestion and others are less responsive. A person’s ability to experience hypnotic suggestions can be inhibited by fears arising from some common misconceptions. Contrary to some depictions of hypnosis in books, movies or television, people who have been hypnotized do not lose control over their behavior. Hypnosis makes it easier for people to experience suggestions, but it does not force them to have these experiences. Hypnosis is not a type of therapy, like psychoanalysis or behavior therapy. Instead, it is a procedure that can be used to facilitate therapy. Because it is not a treatment in and of itself, training in hypnosis is not sufficient for the conduct of therapy.

Marital/Couples Counseling

Marriage/Couples Counseling

Marriage or couple’s counseling focuses on the intimate relationship of two people who are in an established relationship. Often time, the couple is struggling to resolve differences, resulting in conflict or instability. Many times patterns, rules, goals and beliefs will be explored.

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Family Therapy

Family Therapy focuses on the family system as a whole and how each person’s interaction and style of communication affects the overall health and stability of the family.

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DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive and behavioral therapy, incorporating methodologies from various practices including eastern mindfulness techniques. DBT is designed for people who struggle with mood dysregulation, chaotic relationships and self-damaging behaviors. Research has shown DBT to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment drop out, substance abuse, anger and interpersonal difficulties.

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Teen/Adolescent Counseling

Teen and adolescent counseling focuses on the interpersonal struggles that arise due to changes in development (social, sexual, hormonal). This often times includes education about physical, mental, sexual and chemical health.

Play & Sand Tray Therapy

Play is an effective basis for therapy because one can give expression to their experiences and emotions in play in ways that they cannot do in language. For youth, language is a medium they are still trying to master. Play therapy allows experiences, thoughts, emotions (such as anger, fear, sadness or frustration), and relational dynamics that often underlie or influence behavioral functioning to be recreated and addressed in a way that can be difficult to do with language. With play, youth can create therapeutic play at their own developmental level. The relationship with the therapist allows the sense of security and confidence needed to recreate and to heal from emotionally stressful experiences. Sand-play therapy involves constructing scenes in a shallow tray of sand by using the sand itself and choosing from a selection of miniatures, and by your choice to talk about the scene or not. Sand-play is an appropriate medium for children, adolescents, adults, with families and with groups. It can be used in addition to or in place of “talk” therapy.

Chemical Health Education

Chemical Health is an important part of our daily lives. We provide assessment, treatment options, counseling, and referral.

Forensic Evaluations

Forensic psychology is the practice of psychology in courts of law, in relation to legal matters, 

or with adjudicated or incarcerated individuals.


Legal issues that involve forensic psychological assessments include competence to stand trial, psychosexual evaluations, certification of a juvenile to be tried as an adult, child custody issues, dangerousness, profiling, and anger management issues.


The primary objective of a forensic evaluation is to provide objective findings to the Court that can be substantiated based on information gathered through interview, psychological testing and review of records. Evaluators form professional opinions based on their professional knowledge and expertise that can be supported by the data gathered.

Psychological Evaluation/Testing

A psychological test is a measurement instrument that has the following critical characteristics:

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  1. A psychological test is a sample of behavior.
  2. This sample is obtained under very specific  standardized conditions.

3. There are specific rules for scoring and obtaining quantitative (numeric) information from the sample of behavior.

Psychological Evaluation/Testing

Tests are used in the mental health setting to clarify diagnoses and to facilitate treatment planning. They are used to assess personality, maladaptive behavior, development of social skills, intellectual abilities and cognitive impairment.


A test is said to be standardized when the same instructions are given to all persons, the same scoring is applied and similar environmental conditions are maintained to ensure that the responses are due to each test-taker’s unique attributes rather than differences in situations.


Psychologists are the only professionals that receive in-depth training in administering, scoring and interpreting psychological tests.

Medication Management

Psychotropic Medication Management

Medication management is an assessment which evaluates the patient’s level of functioning, medication effectiveness, side effects, need for lab tests or medication adjustment/change and treatment plan.

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Diagnostic Assessment

A diagnostic assessment is a written report that summarizes information about a client’s mental health functioning. This data is typically gathered during an intake (initial) appointment. A diagnostic assessment is a useful way of communicating specific information to a client and with other clinicians. Information typically discussed in the diagnostic assessment includes: background and historical data about the client; impairments in work, school, and relationship functioning; identification of a client’s resources and areas of strengths; any appropriate mental and/or chemical health diagnoses; and finally, recommendations. Recommendations may suggest further assessment with a psychiatrist/psychiatric nurse practitioner or testing psychologist. A particular mode of therapy may also be recommended, as best meets your needs. Modes of therapy include individual, couples, family and group.

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Existential psychotherapy

Existential psychotherapy is a unique style of therapy that puts emphasis on the human condition as a whole. Existential psychotherapy is a positive approach that encourages people to address the emotional issues they face through full engagement and to take responsibility for the decisions that caused them to develop. People who undergo this form of therapy are guided to accept their fears and are given the skills necessary to overcome them through action. By gaining control of the direction of their life, the client is able to design the course of his or her choosing.

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