DBT or RO-DBT -- How did it help?

Hi BPNers - We're considering Dialectical Behavior Therapy or RO-DBT classes + therapy for our college-age daughter. She was diagnosed with ASD in high school and has anxiety as well. She does fine academically but struggles socially/interpersonally, and she can have extreme emotional responses. I've read good things about DBT here on BPN but it's very pricey. If it could be life-changing for my daughter we can find a way to finance this, but if it's only marginally helpful we'd rather not go this route. If there's anyone out there with a teen or young adult on the spectrum who's done DBT, I'd appreciate hearing others' experiences. If it helped - how specifically did it help? Thanks!

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DBT gave my suicidal daughter the tools to cope with her emotions. It saved her life. I specifically recommend Clearwater Clinic in Oakland.

My child has not had this and I cannot give you specifics, but I can tell you that a close friend's teen daughter who has ADHD, ASD, and Depression did DBT and it was absolutely life changing. She is now a thriving college student living far from home in a place that could be very stressful, and I know her mom would tell you that DBT treatment, more than any other, changed her life. 

Our college student daughter has a very similar background, from a high school autism diagnosis to high anxiety/OCD.  We paid (too much) for a child and parent DBT class series and it was a disaster - she was so triggered that she refused to go.  We lost a lot of money, which added to our stress and frustration. 

Our girl's doing much better now - she wants to be social and is deciding for herself what (initially small) steps she wants to take.  I think what really made the biggest impact for her was me (her mother) getting therapy and not throwing money at "cures".  Wishing you all well.

My 15 year old with ASD and other diagnoses is getting a lot of DBT at their current residential school and it has been a great modality for them.  The structure, the focus on regulation, distress tolerance and effective social skills has really started to bear fruit with my kid. They are more aware of their disproportionate responses and noticing how much more successful they are if they stay regulated and try on a different perspective.  I think the fact that it is a very concrete modality also works well with a lot of folks on the spectrum.  Just this weekend my kid was saying that they now finally get what they need to do to succeed. If your daughter ends up using DBT, I'd recommend getting one of the workbooks and studying it yourself too --- we've found that having the language and skills ourselves has been appreciated by our kid and helped us help them de-escalate some difficult situations. 

My 20 yo with ASD started DBT at 15 due to disordered eating and self-harm. We did not know our kid had ASD at the time. Our kid would say that the one on one DBT was very helpful and the courses less so. However, the courses give the language for the various  DBT skills and the program required both. Now, our kid is in college and those troubling issues are behind us. They know how to self-regulate and recently took a break from the one on one therapy with their DBT therapist. They no longer have melt-downs, self- harm, disordered eating etc They still are neurodivergent and are learning to be independent. They still have sensory issues but they know how to manage them. I would say DBT, and in particular, the one on one therapy has been transformative for our kid. We paid out of pocket for the courses and therapy (so expensive) and then I was able to get insurance to cover the one on one therapy (by then the courses were over so I don't know if they would have paid). Depending on your insurance you can make the argument for a single case agreement due to the ASD diagnosis and the need for DBT, if they don't have anything in network. It was a huge hassle to get them to pay but definitely worth it given the cost involved. 

We did parent/teen DBT group therapy. Our son hated it and dropped out really early. To be fair they had us in a pretherapy group that was awful a d he got really turned off before the modules even started. They tried to kick us out because he refused to participate. We begged them to let us continue without him and it has been really helpful for us. We're done with the modules now but meet with a counselor every other week to get help with ongoing parenting issues. DBT has been really helpful for me which indirectly helps my son. I think that you get out of therapy what you put into it. So it's not going to be a magic fix for your child if she doesn't buy into it.

We did it by Zoom through the Auburn DBT center. They took our insurance. You should call and find out how much it would really cost. And I highly recommend you doing it too. We got a lot out of it and it was helpful to meet regularly with other parents dealing with similar issues. They do separate groups for the teens and parents so people are comfortable opening up. 

Good luck!