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Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Suicidal Latina Adolescents: Supplemental Dialectical Corollaries and Treatment Targets

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The primary aim of this paper is to describe extreme behavioral patterns that the authors have observed in treating Latina adolescents who are suicidal and their parents within the framework of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). These extreme patterns, called dialectical corollaries, serve to supplement the adolescent/family dialectical dilemmas described by Rathus and Miller (2002) as part of dialectical behavior therapy for suicidal adolescents with borderline personality features. The dialectical corollaries proposed are “old school versus new school” and “overprotecting” versus “underprotecting,” and they are described in-depth. We also identify specific treatment targets for each corollary and discuss therapeutic techniques aimed at achieving a synthesis between the polarities that characterize each corollary. Lastly, we suggest clinical strategies to use when therapists reach a therapeutic impasse with the parent-adolescent dyad (i.e., dialectical failures).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2015

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