Julie F. Brown, PhD posted the following comment on the DBT ListServe related to the application of the Skills System with children. Context of this excerpt: Many DBT practitioners were voicing needing DBT resources for children and families. The following comments were added by other DBT practitioners.
“There is obviously as vast interest in applications of DBT with children. I am throwing this post out here and invite debate related to the potential application of the Skills System (published in the Emotion Regulation Skills System for the Cognitively Challenged Client- A DBT-Informed Approach) with children. Although the Skills System has no data related to being used with this population (children ages 7-13), there are aspects of the model design that make theoretical sense. For example, the Skills System structure offers scaffolding to help individuals with concrete processing or inconsistent abstract thinking capacities to perform higher-order, goal-directed thinking/actions. More specifically, the model and teaching strategies are built to help individuals with developmental delays engage in dialectical thinking processes. The Skills System skills/structure are intended to provide vulnerable learners with tools to navigate micro-transitions across the spans of emotions, facilitating the creation of new adaptive/consolidated & elaborated vs reactive chains of behavior in complex contexts. The Skills System uses simple language that may be accessible for youth; it is loaded with visual cue pictures that potentially engender interest and learning for children. The model is also designed so that it can be taught to folks with limited or no reading/writing abilities. I don’t work with children and have not run Skills System groups with this population, so these thoughts are exploratory in nature.”