Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and attachment: Vehicles for the development of resilience in young people leaving the care system
It is well recognised that Looked After Children (LAC) and Young People Leaving Care (YPLC) have complex mental health needs and often engage in self-destructive behaviours such as self-harm, drug and alcohol use and suicide attempts. They can experience a high level of instability in relationships and frequently live transient lifestyles. Traditional mental health services for children, young people and adults have been unable to meet the attachment needs of this particular group such that they rarely benefit from therapeutic interventions and remain in a constant state of emotional dysregulation.
This article describes the way two distinct models – Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – have been interwoven in order to engage and captivate young people leaving care in a therapeutic relationship. This relationship can the be used to help build skills to increase their resilience as they enter adulthood.