Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions is a 224-page guide where parents get advice from two licensed clinical social workers on using dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to support their intensely emotional teenagers—especially those who exhibit disruptive or dangerous behaviors. DBT is a type of therapy that involves increasing four different sets of skills that parents can utilize in order to minimize teenagers’ unwanted behaviors.
The book has essentially three parts: chapters 1 through 4 offer insight into foundational skills and concepts on understanding and accepting teens, chapters 5 through 8 provides information on specific behavioral issues that may arise because of a teen’s emotions as well as safe and effective responses to those behaviors, and chapters 9 and 10 discuss ways parents and families can stay healthy in the face of unwanted behaviors as well as ways to explain those behaviors to other family members. The book is written to provide clear explanations and practices enabling parents to intervene whether or not a teen is in DBT treatment. It seeks to help parents understand, in a non-judgmental manner, how their own lack of understanding and behavior toward their teens can reinforce their child’s behavior.