What is DBT?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based treatment that helps individuals live more in the moment, better manage intense emotions, reduce impulsive behavior, and improve their relationships. In this group, we go over coping skills and strategies from the modules of DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and walking the middle path.

Creative techniques are used to explore and reinforce DBT concepts in a way that is accessible and beneficial for adolescents of all artistic skill levels.

Considering this group for your teen?
Read the blog post, “What Is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Is It Good for My Teen?,” written by high school group leader, Jacqueline Anderson.

What is the purpose of creative arts in this group?

The benefits of the creative arts component to this group are three-fold: participants feel more engaged in the group by actively participating; the activities directly reinforce the skills being taught and help participants retain the concepts; and the process of making art itself is therapeutic, thereby reducing stress and bringing about new personal insights.

No artistic experience is necessary to participate!

What does a typical session look like?

Each session starts with a brief mindfulness exercise. We then go over homework from the previous week, which is to practice the skill that we learned. Next, we cover the new DBT skill and move into a creative arts activity connected to the skill. The session wraps up with a time of sharing art and discussing homework for the upcoming week.

Who might benefit from this group?

Participants are often struggling with some level of anxiety and/or depression. This group is ideal for anyone who has difficulty managing intense or extreme emotions, makes impulsive decisions or reacts impulsively, engages in self-harm or self-destructive behaviors, or struggles with conflict at home or at school.

Ultimately, this group will benefit anyone who wants to improve how they’re dealing with life and gain new coping skills. It is important to note that anyone struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts must be actively committed to safety in order to join this group.

DBT Skills Group Requirements

  1. The cost of the 16-week program is $1920/person ($120/session).
  2. A 55-minute intake session must be scheduled prior to joining.
  3. Regular counseling with an individual therapist familiar with DBT is a requirement for participating.
  4. These groups meet in person at Sunstone’s McLean office.
  5. Participants must be fully vaccinated.
  6. 1-2 parent workshops are offered at an additional cost.
  7. No artistic experience is necessary to participate!

Review the FAQ document for more information.

art therapy paintbrushes

Meet the Facilitators

Contact the Group Leaders to register or for inquiries specific to each group.

Elise Brown

Middle School Group

Grades: 7th & 8th

When: Wednesdays 6:45-8pm – *NEXT OPENING: January 19*

Where: Sunstone’s McLean office (1485 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22101)

Contact: Elise Brown, Licensed Professional Counselor

Jacqueline Anderson

High School Groups

Grades: 9th-12th


Group 1: Wednesdays 3:45-5pm – *NEXT OPENING: January 26*

Group 2: Wednesdays 5:15-6:30pm – *GROUP IS FULL*

Where: Sunstone’s McLean office (1485 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22101)

Contact: Jacqueline Anderson, Licensed Professional Counselor