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Suicide and self-injury are significant public health problems and are all too common in emotionally dysregulated youth. Research supports the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as a treatment for multi-diagnostic youth who engage in suicidal and non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors. DBT uses a blend of acceptance and change strategies along with a particular session structure to engage adolescents in treatment and to target these problematic behaviors. In this workshop, clinicians will learn about the treatment framework, session structure, and core strategies from DBT that support work with emotionally sensitive youth. Participants will learn how to differentiate between suicidal and self-harming behaviors, how to assess the function of these behaviors, and how to balance change and acceptance strategies to promote growth and change in dysregulated adolescents. In addition, some general principles and considerations of working with emotionally sensitive youth (e.g., confidentiality issues, using creative reinforcers in therapy, stylistic considerations for the therapist) will be discussed.


lorie PicLorie Ritschel, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Durham, NC. After completing two postdoctoral fellowships at Duke and Emory University, she joined the faculty at Emory in 2008, where she founded and directed the DBT program for adolescents and young adults at Emory’s Child and Adolescent Mood Program (CAMP). In 2013, she moved back to North Carolina and joined the faculty at UNC and founded the DBT program for adolescents and young adults at 3C Family Services in Cary. She now divides her time between and UNC Psychiatry and Durham DBT, where she specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and emotion dysregulation in adolescents and adults using Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Behavioral Activation. She is dedicated to training others in adherent DBT practice and continuing to develop the knowledge base. She has also published extensively on related subjects, and since 2007, has co-directed the International Society for the Improvement and Training of Dialectical Behavior Therapy National Conference.

Clinical Lecture Series at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work

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