DBT-U is a coping skills group designed for undergraduate and graduate university students who are enrolled in school, on leave from school, or for people who are simply in the age range of 18 to early 30s. In 2002, Dr. Meggan Moorhead, co-founder of Triangle Area DBT, created the DBT-U program. Its first group met in Durham. Since that time DBT-U has expanded and currently has four ongoing groups in the Triangle.
DBT-U groups meet once weekly for 90 minutes and follow the standard DBT curriculum. DBT-U has three semesters over the course of the year (fall, spring, and summer). The fall term runs September through mid-December; the spring session runs January through mid-May; and the summer term runs late May to mid-August. Breaks coincide with the university-system academic calendar. While members make a commitment for a specific DBT-U group for one semester at a time, group leaders encourage members to continue attendance in DBT-U for a total of three semesters if possible.
Candidates interested in participating in DBT-U first meet with a clinician for an intake to assess if the group is a wise fit. DBT-U group members present a broad spectrum of concerns and level of functioning. Group participants are required to participate in concomitant ongoing individual DBT.
The strength of DBT is learning to validate experiences while also learning skills that improve quality of life, reduce stress, regulate emotions, and maintain effective relationships. The goal for DBT-U group participants is to learn and apply DBT skills in their daily lives.
- by Martha Golden