Crossroads: Adolescent DBT Intensive Outpatient Program

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of therapy created by Marsha Linehan specifically for people who have difficulty tolerating and regulating challenging emotions. These individuals often develop strategies for coping with these intense emotions that help them feel better in the short term but end up causing more suffering in the long term. These individuals often make impulsive, emotionally driven decisions and struggle with self-destructive coping behaviors such as self-injury, suicidal thoughts, substance use and chronic avoidance.

The IOP model is intended for individuals who have tried a less intensive level of therapy and have not achieved the stability they want. It can also be beneficial for individuals demonstrating an escalation of behaviors that could lead to hospitalization or as a step down from an inpatient or residential setting.

DBT can be helpful for teens who:

  • Have trouble tolerating difficult emotions
  • Have engaged in self-destructive coping behaviors
  • Often make impulsive, emotionally driven decisions
  • Have trouble asking for help effectively
  • Struggle with relationships
  • Are interested and motivated to make positive changes in their lives

IOP can be helpful for individuals who:

  • Have tried a less intensive level of therapy
  • Have not achieved the level of stability they want
  • Have demonstrated an escalation of behaviors that could lead to hospitalization
  • Are stepping down from inpatient or residential treatment

The IOP is typically 6 weeks. For the adolescent IOP, both the teen and the caregiver are required to participate. The adolescent will participate 3-5 days per week from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. The caregiver will participate 1-2 days per week for 1-2 hours, including the initial intake, family DBT skills group (Wednesday’s 3:30pm – 5:00pm) and family therapy sessions. The caregiver participating in the program does not need to be the legal guardian. If the caregiver is not the legal guardian, the guardian will need to be present at the intake.

For treatment to be most successful, it is critical that the adolescent and caregiver have some motivation/interest in making positive changes. For this reason, the adolescent/guardian must call the program directly to schedule an intake. Referrals must come directly from the family.  Community providers are welcome to reach out for more information, with questions or to share relevant clinical information.

Program Contact:

Elizabeth Griswold, LICSW – Program Director

45 San Remo Drive
South Burlington, VT 05403

Phone: 802.662.4496

Program Information:

  • Program Type: Intensive Outpatient
  • Service Types: The IOP includes: individual (adolescent) therapy, family therapy, adolescent DBT skills group, family DBT skills group, supportive counseling group, expressive therapy group, psychiatric evaluation/medication management, clinical evaluation/recommendations.
  • Gender: Any/All
  • Ages: 13-19
  • Length of Stay: 6 weeks (Average=24 treatment days)

Referring Agencies:

  • Department of Mental Health (DMH)
  • Outpatient Therapists
  • Primary Care Physicians
  • Inpatient Psychiatric Providers
  • Social Workers
  • Case Managers
  • School Counselors