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DBT FAQ for both Adult and Teen Program (additional Teen DBT FAQ at the end): 


Do you take insurance or provide a sliding scale fee?

We are out of network with insurance. You pay us directly for services and we give you a superbill to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. We have a limited number of reduced fee slots each module that are first come, first serve. Please complete a contact form for the current program schedule and pricing.


How does payment for DBT work?

Individual therapy sessions are charged to your credit card each week they occur.  Group therapy is prebilled per module (7-9 sessions depending on the module).  Group is prebilled because the group is closed for each module and no other new members can join.  It’s like paying for a class and you are financially committed to that module.  There are no refunds for missed groups. 


Can DBT help me? 

Comprehensive DBT is a cognitive-behavioral treatment that works. Clinical research has shown the effectiveness of Comprehensive or Standard DBT for a wide range of problems including impulsive & harmful behaviors, suicidality, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, addictions, ADHD, traumatic stress, and interpersonal difficulties. DBT is often helpful when issues are complex and other treatments have not worked.


How is DBT different from CBT?

DBT is based on the theory that life difficulties come out of a core problem with regulating our emotions and ourselves. This is different from other theoretical approaches. This difficulty regulating our emotions stems from a lack of skills in self-regulation. This is a behavioral treatment, so we are teaching new behaviors called “skills” to replace old behaviors that are not working well for you. Thus, we teach a variety of skills in our skills training group.  DBT combines a behavioral change-based approach with a Zen-Buddhist philosophy involving skills of mindfulness and acceptance. Read more about the DBT philosophy.


Can I do just individual DBT?

This depends on the age of the client.  Adults are required to be a part of the DBT skills group to learn new skills. Teen skills training is offered in a group or individual format.  Child DBT is only offered in an individual format.


Can I keep my current individual therapist and just do the skills group? 

All group members are required to be in weekly individual therapy while participating in the skills group. We will assess during the intake process and provide a recommendation for treatment. Depending on your level of functioning and goals, we may recommend Comprehensive DBT (weekly skills group, phone coaching, and individual DBT therapy with a therapist in a DBT consultation team) or we may offer the skills group only option, in which case you could continue with your current therapist. There is some research that just attending DBT Skills Group can be helpful in remediating milder symptoms.


What is Comprehensive DBT? 

Comprehensive or Standard DBT includes 4 Components/Modes:  Weekly individual therapy with a DBT-trained therapist to apply the skills to your specific goals and perform behavior analysis, weekly group therapy to learn the DBT Skills, phone coaching between sessions by your individual therapist to provide added support and generalize the skills to your everyday life, and your therapist participates in a DBT consultation team to receive support in order to provide the best DBT therapy.


What is pre-treatment?

We require all DBT clients to participate in pre-treatment. This is part of our intake process.  Adult Comprehensive DBT clients  meet at least 4 times with their individual therapist before entering the program and starting the group. Teen Comprehensive DBT clients meet 3 times with their individual therapist and parents meet once with the individual therapist and once with Dr. Rankin.  Group-Only DBT clients meet at least 2 times with their group leader before entering the program.  During pre-treatment we are assessing areas of difficulty, orienting to DBT, assessing commitment, establishing goals, and determining fit. After pre-treatment is complete, we provide recommendations for treatment. Participating in pre-treatment does not guarantee admission to the DBT program. 


How long does it take to complete the program? 

It takes six months to complete one full round of DBT (3 modules of group), research shows it is most beneficial to do two rounds for one full year of DBT treatment. 


What is a “module” of group? There are three modules in a full round of skills group adding up to 24 weeks total.  Each module starts with two weeks of Mindfulness Skills followed by a different set of skills, either Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, or Interpersonal Effectiveness.  New group members can join at the beginning of each module and then the group is closed for the rest of that module.  Read more about the DBT Skills Modules.


Can I pick which modules I want to do?

No, you must complete all three modules (Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness), because all the skills fit with each other and work together.  Mindfulness is our fourth set of skills that is taught at the beginning of each of the three modules.


What is the adult group like (size, structure, ages)? 

Our adult groups are for all ages 18 and older.  We cap our groups at nine group members. The group consists of homework review, mindfulness practice, and teaching new skills. All adult groups last 1 hour and 45 minutes. The purpose of group is to learn DBT skills, so it is more like a class than a traditional therapy process group. The bottom of the main DBT page lists the times and format of our groups.


Are your adult groups in-person or virtual? 

We currently have both virtual and in-person groups. If interested in attending an in-person group, we require all group members to be vaccinated.  In-person groups are held in our office located in Vienna, VA.  We offer virtual groups to those located in DC or Virginia.


Additional Teen FAQ:


What are the components of the Teen DBT Program?

The structure of our Teen DBT Program is detailed on our Adolescent DBT Page.


What ages does the adolescent DBT program include?

The program is for teens age 13 through 12th grade.  


How long is the adolescent program? 

It takes about six months to complete the full adolescent program.


What is the structure of the adolescent DBT group? 

The multi-family group meets once a week for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The teen and parents separate for homework review and then come together for mindfulness practice and the teaching portion.


When does the group meet?

The multi-family skills group currently meets virtually on Tuesdays 4:45 - 6:15pm EST.  Our current group schedule is listed on our adolescent DBT page


What if my teen does not want to do it? 

We assess new families to determine where to start. We require commitment from the teen in order to participate in the program. If the teen does not want to do the program, we may recommend starting with the DBT parenting group. 


What is the parent commitment for this program? 

We require parents to attend weekly skills training and complete a six week parenting group


Do you provide family therapy? 

We may offer some family sessions while in DBT but that is not our primary focus. 


Do you collaborate with other providers (ie. psychiatrist, school counselor)?

Yes, we are happy to connect with other professionals/providers in your teen’s life to coordinate care. 


If my teen is above age 17, can they still participate? 

Yes, if they are currently in high school. If not, they are welcome to learn more about our Young Adult DBT skills group. Our FAQs above and this page detail our adult program.

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