Jonathan Mitchell +2774 512 2033

DBT For Tweens (8-12 years old)

Step-upp for tweens has been uniquely developed.

Children who learn the DBT skills of emotion regulation, mindfulness, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness can expect to stand up to peer pressure and bullying, have a greater sense of self-worth, enjoy improved relationships with peers and family, are better equipped to resolve conflict and are generally happier and more resilient.

We run a 14 week programme for kids between the ages of 8 – 12. The success of the programme lies in combining group with both the tweens and their parents ensuring the skills learnt are transferred to the home environment and are utilised and practiced there.


Learn skills to improve relationships  

Stress Less

Feel less stress and worry  


Have Fun

Have more fun and positive experiences  

Healthy patterns

Learn healthy behavior and thinking patterns  

Positive emotions

Experience emotions in a positive way  

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for pre-adolescent children

Goal: Step-upp® for tweens targets emotional and behavioural dysregulation in the paediatric population by teaching adaptive coping skills and helping parents create a validating and a change-ready environment. Step-upp® for tweens retains the theoretical model, principles and therapeutic strategies of standard DBT, and incorporates almost all of the adult DBT skills and didactics into the curriculum. However, the presentation and packaging of the information are considerably different to accommodate for the developmental and cognitive levels of pre-adolescent children. Further, a parent training component has been added to the model. One of the major departures from adult and adolescent DBT is the treatment target hierarchy, which has been greatly expanded to incorporate Step-upp® for tweens emphasis on the parental role in attaining child’s treatment goals. Step-upp® for tweens views adaptive patterns of parental responding as key to achieving lasting changes in a child’s emotional and behavioural regulation.

Skills to Respond to Your Child’s Feelings and Behaviours:

DBT involves sharing information and teaching specific concrete skills. With this model, parents learn to understand and respond to their children’s emotions and behaviours. To increase acceptance and improve interactions, parents are taught the story of emotion, from the source of an emotion to the function of emotions. It emphasizes understanding what makes a particular child vulnerable to intense emotion, his or her triggers and the beliefs that influence an emotional response. Parents learn to observe how intense and negative emotions affect their child’s body and how these emotions result in problematic behaviours. Improved understanding allows parents to intervene early and respond to their child’s emotion with greater acceptance. It enables parents to be more effective in helping their child feel more in control and better about him/herself.
At the same time, parents are taught to respond to their child’s behaviours with greater effectiveness. They are trained in the four DBT Skills modules, mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance. In these modules they learn how to focus their attention, effective strategies for coping with interpersonal conflict, how to regulate painful emotions and skills to deal with the pain and distress that are a part of life. They are also taught skills aimed specifically at improving their child’s behaviours such as how to shape their child towards constructive activities, how to use punishment minimally though effectively and to use contracts and positive reinforcement to maintain limits and expectations.

For more details on the Tween Step-Upp course, please email

Tweens Consent Form

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