Hillside Celebrates Program Certification by the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification and Adds Therapeutic Treatment Options on Campus

By Gaan Akers, LPC, NCC | October 4, 2018

DBT Certification
In April of 2018, Hillside® became the first child and adolescent residential treatment facility awarded the professionally respected DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Program™ (dbt-lbc.org). The DBT-Linehan Board of Certification is an international organization devoted to ensuring programs and individuals offering Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) meet rigorous standards and demonstrate adherence to this evidence-based treatment model. Program certification confirms Hillside’s commitment to provide DBT effectively and with fidelity as developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. and colleagues.

Additional Therapeutic Programming:

Hillside provides a multitude of training courses and CE credits throughout the year. Below are a couple examples of mental health training courses that we provide…

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Children (DBT-C)
For younger clients, ages 7-12, Hillside adds the DBT-C protocol to existing modalities of treatment on campus. In the spring of 2018, three of our clinicians participated in the first formal DBT-C Training for Experienced Clinicians with Francheska Perepletchikova, Ph.D., the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy for pre-adolescent children. Since the initial training, the DBT-C protocol has been successfully implemented with several families in our program.

Experiential DBT – A Specialized Day Program
This fall, Hillside® is launching a 30-day Experiential DBT Day Program. The curriculum for this experience-based, immersive, and comprehensive DBT program for teens ages 13-17 is based on the treatment modalities of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Compassion-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy in conjunction with Social Emotional Ethical Learning (SEE Learning.)

Experiential DBT is led by Kimberly Vay, Ed.D., LPC, a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™, and Adam Silberman, MD, who received intensive DBT training from Alec L. Miller, Psy.D – the developer of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents (DBT-A) protocol. Our clinicians carefully designed our Experiential DBT Day Program to be different from traditional adolescent Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP). The Experiential DBT Day Program offers a comprehensive and skills-based curriculum intended to help our clients and their families learn and practice effective and healthy skills in their daily lives, in a real-world setting. The 30-day commitment to treatment is recommended in order to teach all of the DBT skills modules, complete the SEE curriculum, and allow for additional experiential therapeutic engagements such as Horticultural Therapy, Therapeutic Drumming, Expressive Art, and Recreational Therapy. Individual DBT Therapy, Family Therapy, and Psychiatric care including any necessary medication management, as well as parent groups are built into the weekly schedule to ensure individualized care and maximize successful treatment outcomes.

Social Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning)
SEE Learning is an educational program developed at Emory University’s Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics that incorporates a research-based approach to educating both heart and mind. SEE Learning builds upon the best practices in social emotional learning (SEL) programs, and expands them to include new topics such as attention training, the cultivation of compassion for self and others, resiliency skills, systems thinking, and ethical discernment. SEE Learning includes helping students cultivate character and ethical discernment in addition to practical skills. Hillside® is excited to partner with Emory University and implement SEE Learning on campus during the 2018-2019 school year.

*Article Featured in We Are NATSAP, September 2018


  • Gaan Akers, LPC, NCC

    Director of Clinical Education & Outreach - Gaan has been working with children, adolescents, and families for over 10 years in various settings. In her current role, she provides education and training for mental health professionals, parents, and the community. She lives in Atlanta with her husband. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, climbing, and cooking. She is a donut aficionado and a national park enthusiast!

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