College mental health skills

So how do we prepare our kids for the rigors and life challenges that college brings?

One increasingly popular answer is teaching them skills derived from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT was originally designed for adults with borderline personality disorder, who experience extreme emotional instability. But DBT skills are, more and more, being used successfully to treat almost any kind of emotional dysregulation.

While traditional DBT is an intensive, highly structured program, Drs. Giller and Macchia note that basic DBT skills can be adapted to help prepare incoming college students to better handle the challenges of college.

What would that look like? “Near the end of high school,” explains Dr. Macchia, “parents can shift the family dynamic to encourage kids to be more independent, and practice emotional regulation and problem-solving skills for themselves.” Here’s how you can help.