Day Treatment Program

Other Programs: Residential | Virtual Outpatient | Intensive In-Home | Community Intervention


Experience DBT
 is a 30-day, intensive adolescent day treatment that features experiential, immersive, and comprehensive DBT programming for teens ages 13-17 in Atlanta, Georgia. The curriculum is grounded in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Social Emotional Ethical Learning (SEE Learning.) The treatment goals are for clients to acquire and effectively apply the skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, to feel and show empathy for self and others, and to establish and maintain relationships while living with their family.

Teens ages 13-17 and their families. Day program clients are typically able to maintain safety in the home environment, however, are in need or more intensive therapy and medication management than regular outpatient services. Teens who have severe depression/anxiety or difficulties with completing routine daily activities, such as school, due to on-going psychiatric symptoms. Teens who have non-suicidal self-harming behaviors (NSSI) or passive suicidal ideations.

Most Day-program clients have been not been hospitalized in short-term acute inpatient psychiatric hospitals or have had minimal hospitalizations. Teens who have completed treatment in more intensive treatment settings (residential or wilderness programs) and have made progress in stabilizing high risk behaviors may also find the day-program to be a good transitional treatment for the after care.

Clients are engaged in a clinically intensive and experiential DBT program. Clients remain with the family in the home setting and come to campus Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for 6 consecutive weeks.

Clients and families will work with a multidisciplinary team consisting of Board-Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Masters-level Licensed Therapists, and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist®.

Each week, clients participate in a minimum of 12 hours of DBT sessions, which include traditional DBT Skills training groups, an individual DBT session, a family DBT session, advanced experiential DBT therapy groups, and receives psychiatric medication management. As in any comprehensive DBT program, clients and their families are encouraged to use their DBT Coaching calls with their respective therapists during non-treatment hours, including evenings and weekends.

Each week of treatment includes:

  • 12 hours of DBT (individual, core skills group, experiential group, and family sessions)
  • 4 hours of Social Emotional and Ethical Learning (see below for additional information)
  • 8 hours of supervised academic work
  • 4 hours of Recreational Therapy (including art, and horticultural therapy)
  • 10 hours of Milieu Therapy (including Solution Focused Peer Group, Goals Group, Skills Generalization and Practice groups)

Hillside specializes in working with clients with mood & anxiety disorder, borderline personality traits/disorder, severe emotion dysregulation, self-harming behavior, over-controlled/perfectionism, suicidality, and clinically complex clients.

Our treatment modalities include: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychiatric medication management, individual therapy, family therapy, groups. Theraplay ® and Radically-Opened DBT (RO-DBT) are offered as clinically indicated.

Q: Do you take insurance?

A: Experiential Day Program at Hillside is in-network with all major insurance plans including Tricare and Kaiser Permanente. We are also able to work with Commercially Managed Medicaid plans in Georgia: Amerigroup, CareSource, PeachState

Q: What is the family involvement during treatment?

A:  Parents are engaged in family therapy weekly as well as the Caregiver DBT groups on Tuesdays 4:00-5:30 p.m. and Family Psychoeducation session every other Friday via Zoom.

Q: What about School?

A: Clients are usually on a hospital homebound agreement for academic work and are given approximately 8 hours during the week to work independently on school assignments.