Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills have been demonstrated to be effective in helping adolescents manage difficult emotional situations, cope with stress, and make better decisions. From leading experts in DBT and school-based interventions, this unique manual offers the first nonclinical application of DBT skills. The book presents an innovative social-emotional learning curriculum designed to be taught at the universal level in grades 6-12. Explicit instructions for teaching the skills—mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness—are provided in 30 lesson plans, complete with numerous reproducibles: 99 handouts, a diary card, and three student tests. The large-size format and lay-flat binding facilitate photocopying; purchasers also get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials.
This title is part of The Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series, edited by T. Chris Riley-Tillman.
“Consistent with DBT and dialectics, the authors have found an ingenious way of expanding the reach and implementation of DBT skills to the universal population of adolescents in educational settings. The DBT STEPS-A curriculum offers a fabulous upstream approach for all adolescents to develop DBT skills and reduce the likelihood of emotionally dysregulated behaviors….Your ability to take this book and use it to teach schoolchildren a wealth of effective life and emotion regulation skills has the possibility of helping more than you can imagine.”
—from the Foreword by Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, Professor and Director, Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, University of Washington; developer of DBT
“I have used DBT STEPS-A the last 2 years with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. In my 36 years as an educator I have used many programs, and this one is the most comprehensive and powerful. I surveyed one of my eighth-grade classes, and 96% of the students said they would use the skills they learned. Imagine students learning that their thoughts and feelings can lie to them in a crisis situation, and gaining the skills to successfully deal with their issues. My district and others cannot afford to be without DBT STEPS-A.”
—Richard Jones, MEd, School Counselor, Maple Grove School, Battle Ground, Washington
“The authors of this groundbreaking book—all DBT experts—have done something no one else has done before: created a curriculum based on DBT skills that can be used with a broad range of middle and high school students. The curriculum is presented in a highly structured, useful, and practical manner. As most mental health services for youth are delivered in schools, this book should be required reading for all school-based mental health professionals, teachers, and school administrators.”
—David N. Miller, PhD, Division of School Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York; President, American Association of Suicidology
“A truly wonderful curriculum to support social and emotional learning (SEL). The authors give school personnel needed tools to teach SEL skills both universally and to targeted high-risk students. The manual is clear, concise, and comprehensive, while providing enough flexibility that school-based mental health professionals and teachers can adapt it to their schools' particular needs. This book is an important resource for anyone who is charged with helping students to become more emotionally adept, manage stress, and live more balanced lives.”
—Michael R. Hollander, PhD, Director of Training and Consultations, 3East DBT Programs, McLean Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
About the Authors:
James J. Mazza, PhD, is Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Washington. Dr. Mazza’s research focuses on adolescent internalizing disorders, with a particular focus on suicidal behavior. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on how to identify youth who are at risk for suicidal behavior, as well as the development of social-emotional learning curricula to help all students learn emotion regulation skills. Dr. Mazza has worked with over 30 school districts and thousands of school personnel to develop and implement comprehensive suicide prevention strategies for adolescents. He is the co-owner of Mazza Consulting and Psychological Services, in Seattle, Washington.
Elizabeth T. Dexter-Mazza, PhD, is the co-owner of Mazza Consulting and Psychological Services, where she provides comprehensive dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and skills-based coaching and support to family members and friends of individuals with emotion dysregulation, along with consultation and training to schools implementing DBT STEPS-A. She is also a trainer with Behavioral Tech, which provides DBT training to mental health professionals around the world. Dr. Dexter-Mazza completed her postdoctoral fellowship under the direction of Marsha M. Linehan at the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington, where she served as Clinical Director and a research therapist.
Alec L. Miller, PsyD, is Co-Founder and Clinical Director of Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants of Westchester and Manhattan. He is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For over 20 years, Dr. Miller has adapted and applied DBT with youth in outpatient, inpatient, and school settings, as well as with youth who have chronic medical illnesses. He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has coauthored four books, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Suicidal Adolescents (with Jill H. Rathus and Marsha M. Linehan). Dr. Miller has trained thousands of clinicians and school personnel in DBT internationally.
Jill H. Rathus, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Long Island University-C. W. Post Campus, where she directs the DBT scientist-practitioner training program within the clinical psychology doctoral program. She is also Co-Director and Co-Founder of Cognitive Behavioral Associates, a group private practice in Great Neck, New York, specializing in DBT and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Her clinical and research interests include DBT, CBT, adolescent suicidality, intimate partner violence, anxiety disorders, and assessment, and she publishes widely in these areas. Dr. Rathus is coauthor (with Alec L. Miller) of DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents, and she trains mental health professionals internationally.
Heather E. Murphy, PhD, NCSP, maintains a private practice in Seattle, Washington, where she works with self-harming and suicidal adolescents. She is also adjunct faculty in Educational Psychology at the University of Washington. She received her doctorate in school psychology from the University of Washington, with training in DBT and suicide intervention skills. Dr. Murphy previously worked as a school psychologist in elementary, middle, and high schools for 7 years. Her research and clinical work focus on adolescent mental health, LGBT youth, and suicide intervention with adolescents.