Academic journal article School Social Work Journal

DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents

Academic journal article School Social Work Journal

DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents

Article excerpt

DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents Jill H. Rathus and Alec L. Miller Guilford Press, New York, 2015 392 pages (paperback), $45.00, ISBN 978-1-4625-1535-6

Reviewed by Lynn R. Zakeri

Even if a school social worker is not well versed in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), he or she has likely heard the term. It incorporates mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation, usually in a group setting. The first chapter in the book DBT Skills Manual for Adolescents is titled "An Introduction to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Skills Training," but authors Jill Rathus and Alec Miller seem to assume that readers have some knowledge of and background in DBT. (The authors have trained with Marsha Linehan, founder of DBT, and her foreword in the book suggests that the authors are experts in guiding clinicians to providing DBT to adolescents.) If a school social worker has not previously learned about DBT groups for adults or adolescents, a primer on this topic may be helpful before diving into this book and attempting to apply the DBT skills with adolescents in a school setting. However, that being said, the authors also provide detailed suggestions for those new to DBT about the makeup of DBT groups, including a screening for people who might benefit from participation, how to set up the group room, and how to facilitate each of the sessions.

The first four chapters of the book are about pre-group logistics and preparations. Beginning in chapter 5, the book gives session outlines, and this is when commitment is explained. Also in chapter 5 there is a wealth of information that defines DBT for adolescents and explains what it addresses.

The individual sessions outlined are very helpful. I think any school social worker who read through the (several) activities and handouts would feel enthusiastic about how practical and helpful the skills are. …

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