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.

Currently, all groups are full. We encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed of future offerings. You may also contact the group leader to be added to an interest list for future offerings.

Whom does this group support?

High schoolers (9th-12th grade)

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.

Cost and Requirements

The cost of the 16-week program is $1920/person ($120/session).
Additionally, a 55-minute, $170 intake session must be scheduled prior to joining.

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


July 20-Nov 16 (no sessions on Aug 24 and Oct 12)

Meets Wednesdays from 3:45-5pm


In-person in Sunstone’s McLean office (map it)


Jacqueline Anderson, Licensed Professional Counselor

Contact Jacqueline: jacqueline@sunstonecounselors.com | 571-429-4848


Sept 15-Jan 19 (no sessions on Nov 24, Dec 22, and Dec 29)

Meets Thursdays from 7:15-8:30pm


In-person in Sunstone’s Alexandria office (map it)


Emily Louisos, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Contact Emily: emilylouisos@sunstonecounselors.com | 571-293-1776

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