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 group leader, Jacqueline Anderson.

Whom does this group support?

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.

Registration and Inquiries

To sign up or learn more, contact the group facilitators below.

Group Requirements

Regular counseling with an individual therapist familiar with DBT is a requirement for participating.

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.

Review the FAQ document for more information.

Choose from two group offerings



9th-12th graders:
Jan 4-Mar 21, 2024                          

Thursdays from 7:15-8:30pm


Sunstone’s Alexandria office (map it)


Emily Louisos
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Contact Emily:



9th-12th graders:
FALL 2023 dates to be announced

Wednesdays from 7:15-8:30pm


Sunstone’s Richmond office (map it)


Caroline Crilley
Licensed Professional Counselor

Caroline Crilley

Contact Caroline:

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.

art therapy paintbrushes