Parent Hugging teen

Mastering Parenthood: How DBT Skills Can Transform Your Parenting & Support Your Child's Recovery

What is one of the first things you are told after you board an airplane?

“Take the air mask and place it over your own mouth before helping a child” This is one of the fundamental principles DBT teaches parents. Your own self-care is crucial. You cannot pour from an empty cup. When you have mastered and modeled your own emotion regulation and stress management skills, your child will do better.
As a mother or a father, you’re always looking for the best ways to support and nurture your child. When your child is struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, or an eating disorder, the challenge becomes even more significant. Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery, a leading provider of Comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy is here to help you understand the benefits of DBT and how it can both support you as a parent, and have a positive and lasting impact on your child’s recovery journey.

Parent Hugging teen

What is DBT?

DBT is the Most Comprehensive Curriculum of Coping Skills we have today!

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan.  It combines Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques with mindfulness practices and has been proven to be effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions – anxiety, depression, trauma, and eating disorders. Dialectical Behavior Therapy was developed by Dr. Linehan for individuals with serious mental health symptoms. It is now widely used to promote coping skills with individuals with mental health and medical health concerns. DBT has now been developed as a  Prevention Model for  children, be sure to read DBT in Schools  by Dr. James Mazza and Dr. Elizabeth Mazza.

We are doing the best we can…. AND we have to try harder….

DBT promotes  self-compassion in parents – to understand that they are doing the best they can AND  always want to find new ways to improve.  DBT gives parents the tools to master parenthood in novel ways. Each day and each stage of childhood brings new challenges for a parent. You may still be looking for that manual that you  felt you should have been given when you had your newborn.  DBT skills training can give you a way to  increase your coping skills and your interpersonal effectiveness, and those in your child.

While we are on the topic of compassion, let’s bear in mind that your parents did not receive a parenting manual upon your birth, either. Your parents did the best they could, at the time, with what they knew, and with what they were given.  It takes some folks, a lifetime to accept that.    If your goal is to do even better than the generation before you did, Dialectical Behavior Therapy can teach you coping skills you may never have been taught.

What are the 5 DBT Coping Skills? How can they help me be a better parent?

DBT focuses on five key Coping Skill areas: Core Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance,  Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Middle Path. These skills help both parents and children, better understand their  emotions, thoughts, feelings, and actions, allowing both you and your child to cope better and become more resilient, make better choices, and have effective communication skills.

Core Mindfulness: This skill helps  you stay in the moment. Today’s pressures push parents and teens to be multi-taskers more than ever, and lose sight of true quality time with our children. Quality time can happen anywhere. I bet your child has caught you being distracted and not listening. What does that feel like? Being present and focused is another important skill  for parents to model.  Understanding the concepts of Emotion Mind, Reasonable Mind and Wise Mind, is a great strategy to helping a parent to not overreact and to not engage a teenager in a powerful struggle.

Emotion Regulation: DBT teaches an individual how to identify when one is experiencing intense emotions that can be difficult to manage. DBT skills teaches one  to identify when they are in Emotion Mind. What happens when you overreact? How does that impact your child? Make things better or worse? Air mask on first! When you have a handle on your raw emotions, your child will do better.

Distress Tolerance: DBT helps your child develop skills to tolerate and cope with distressing situations without resorting to self harm or eating disorder disorder behaviors. When you, as the parent,  are able to calm your own emotions, and develop your own distress tolerance skills, your child will have you as a role model. Everyone in the family can find new and improved ways to cope with distress and discomfort.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: DBT focuses on improving communication and assertiveness skills, which can help your child express their needs and set boundaries in relationships. Assertiveness Training is the DEAR MAN Skill.  The GIVE and FAST skills are the Validation Skills. Your own training in DBT Validation Skills,  has been described as a Game-Changer by many of the parents we have worked with. What happens to adolescent power struggle  when you calmly validate your child’s feelings and don’t overreact?

Middle Path – DBT is founded on the concept of Dialectics. Dialectics is where two ideas or views seem opposite, but both can be true.  The truth is in the middle. There is always more than one way to see a situation and more than one way to solve a problem. Finding the middle path truth is a great strategy in developing positive peer and family relationships, for you and for your child.

Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery: Your Partner in DBT for  Mental Health Resiliency and Eating Disorder Recovery

At Resilience , our compassionate and skilled therapists have dual specialty the Treatment of Eating Disorders and  in DBT for  mental health conditions, the anxiety disorder, mood disorders, trauma, grief/loss.. We understand the unique challenges faced by mothers and fathers in supporting a child in recovery. Our Comprehensive DBT program ensures that you and your child receive the guidance and support needed to develop essential coping skills and promote lasting recovery.

 Adherent DBT for adolescents, offered at Resilience, is the Multi-Family Skills Group model. By mastering DBT skills along with your child, you both can gain a better mastery of emotions and  access your inner resilience. As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s  recovery journey.  Resilience  is here to support you every step of the way.

As a parent, supporting your child’s journey from an eating disorder or  mental health condition. can be challenging and exhausting but DBT offers a powerful and evidence-based approach to help you learn, re-learn and model coping skills as you  regain control by putting  your air mask on first,  and  as you guide your child to put on their own air mask. The end result is to achieve a healthier, happier family life. Reach out to Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery  today to learn more about our DBT and DBT-ED programs. We are here to  support your family to enhance your unique strengths as a family.

Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery

Gender-Inclusive ∙ Culturally Compassionate


5 Steps for Successful Eating Disorder Recovery

Full Recovery is Possible

Embarking on the journey to eating disorder and body image dissatisfaction recovery can be challenging and overwhelming. At Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery, we understand the importance of having the right treatment, as early as possible, to help you get better and stay better. Here are our top 5 tips for navigating the path to successful eating disorder recovery.

1. Don’t Delay. Seek Professional Help

It is not always talked about, but eating disorders are progressive, as well as dangerous illnesses. Reach out to a treatment provider or center that specializes in eating disorders. Your treatment begins with an expert evaluation and the right diagnosis. The earlier the better. Eating disorder treatment can be categorized as early intervention or the treatment can be for an eating disorder that has become severe and enduring. Whichever, your health is important, don’t delay or avoid.

The earlier you get treatment, the better is your prognosis. Even if your primary diagnosis is Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, or Binge Eating Disorder, there is often a “co-occurring diagnosis”, such as one of the Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, or trauma. This has to be treated in an expert manner. Symptoms such as self-starvation or restriction creates mental health symptoms such as anxiety or depression. The sooner your eating disorder treatment begins, the sooner you will feel better.

At Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery, each initial evaluation we conduct is also a “Level-of-Care Assessment”. Meaning, it is our job to make sure you are at the right level of care. The three levels of care are: Inpatient/Residential, PHP/IOP, outpatient private practice. At Resilience, we offer Comprehensive outpatient care. We are trained in evidenced-based outpatient approaches, such as FBT, CBT-E, and DBT for Eating Disorders. We can collaborate with an Adolescent Medicine Specialist, your pediatrician, or your PCP, for your outpatient medical safety.

Eating Disorders thrive on isolation

2. Build Your Support Community. Find a Group!

Your Eating Disorder wants to keep you isolated. In fact, eating disorders thrive on isolation! Having a strong support system is crucial for lasting recovery. Share your struggles and goals with trusted friends and family members who can offer encouragement and understanding

For your mental health and your recovery, find yourself a group. Find several groups! Connecting with others who share similar experiences with food and body image can help you with your own self-compassion. We offer therapy groups for eating disorder recovery including Comprehensive DBT for eating disorders. Our clients who have found full recovery often made up their own outpatient program of professional therapy groups and free support groups.

3. Develop Healthy Coping Strategies & Good Self-Care

Eating disorders often develop as a way to cope with difficult emotions or situations. Replace disordered eating behaviors with healthier coping strategies, such as practicing mindfulness, engaging in physical activity, or pursuing creative outlets like art or writing. Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is essential for recovery. Establish a regular self-care routine that includes balanced meals, adequate sleep, stress management, social and physical activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Don’t get off the train before your final destination

4. Stay Committed to your Recovery

Full Recovery is Possible. Don’t get off the train before your final destination. You might be tempted to get off at an earlier stop and walk around, using the metaphor of a train ride. Maybe you tell your treatment team, “I need a break! This is too hard!” If that happens, take a breath and resume your appointments and continue your treatment. Yes, this might be the hardest thing you ever do, but the rewards are greater than you can imagine right now.

At Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery, we don’t sell round trip tickets, we are here to help you continue all phases of your recovery until you put your eating disorder behind you. Our recovered clients go on to live full and productive lives.

5. Have a solid Relapse Prevention Plan

The most important thing to remember is that a “lapse” is not a relapse. In our experience, relapse is not inevitable, it is actually highly preventable. During the course of your recovery, you will be putting in building blocks to better relationship with your body and with food – using strategies such as techniques for delaying binging/purging urges, tolerating any needed weight gain, incorporating exposures for your fear foods. and food/social exposures for eating with others. Your therapist and your treatment team will help you with all these steps. Your bravery is the foundation that your recovery is built on.

So try not to let a lapse turn into a relapse. Know your signs that can indicate you could be slipping back into eating disorder thinking and behaviors. Have your support team/family/roommates learn to recognize your signs as well. Whether a lapse or a full-blown relapse, get support and get right back on the train to recovery. Through your therapy you will learn to enjoy your life again, feel good in your body, celebrate your health, and experience normalized and joyful eating. Is it possible? We know it is!



Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery: Your Partner in Eating Disorder Recovery

At Resilience, we’re committed to helping individuals on their path to eating disorder recovery. Our experienced therapists provide evidence-based treatment options, including FBT, CBT-E, and DBT-ED, tailored to your unique needs and challenges. We believe that with expert care, you can overcome your eating disorder and lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Navigating the path to eating disorder recovery can be challenging, but with the right tools, strategies, and support, you can achieve lasting healing. By following these top 5 tips and partnering with professionals like Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery, you can build a strong foundation for a healthier, happier future. Reach out to the Resilience team today to learn more about our specialized treatment options and how we can support you on your journey to recovery.

Resilience DBT & Eating Recovery

Gender-Inclusive ∙ Culturally Compassionate