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Direct Care – Intervention

Mood Service

The Child Mind Institute’s mood service provides social-emotional support to students in grades 6-12 struggling with emotion regulation, decision-making, and relationship management. The treatment is a modified Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program that helps students develop skills to more effectively regulate their emotions, solve problems, and enhance their lives. This treatment consists of 11 group sessions and 2 individual sessions. The program takes place at the school, during the school day. There may be 4-6 students per group, and groups are led by a Child Mind Institute clinician.

Who is eligible for this program?

This group is appropriate for teenagers who experience significant difficulty managing their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Students who are highly emotional and reactive often have trouble with academic and social functioning and managing screen time and substances. Some signs that a student may benefit from participating include:

  • Being overwhelmed by big feelings such as anxiety, sadness, anger
  • Frequent mood swings (which may include outbursts)
  • Poor coping skills

Mood Curriculum

The group will be led by a clinician from the Child Mind Institute. The group meets once a week for about 3 months. This program is adapted from DBT Skills in Schools: Skills Training for Emotional Problem Solving for Adolescents (DBT STEPS-A), an evidence-based group program targeting emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness. The group curriculum covers the following topics:

Session 1: Orientation

Students will get to know other group members and create group guidelines to ensure that everyone feels comfortable in group. Students will be oriented to the skills they will learn in group and will develop personal goals to focus on.

Session 2: Wise Mind

Students will get an introduction to mindfulness skills and why they may be helpful. They will learn about the three states of mind – Emotion Mind, Reasonable Mind, and Wise Mind. Students will engage in a mindfulness practice to help them get into Wise Mind.

Session 3: Mindfulness How-to Guide

Students will review the purpose of mindfulness and learn three skills for practicing mindfulness – Observe, Describe, and Participate. They will engage in exercises to solidify their understanding of these mindfulness concepts.

Session 4: Introduction to Crisis Survival Skills and ACCEPTS

Students will begin to learn about Distress Tolerance skills and when to use them. They will learn the skill Distract with Wise Mind ACCEPTS and will generate ideas of helpful distractions they can use when they are experiencing extreme stress.

Session 5: Self-Soothe

Students will learn the Distress Tolerance skill Self-Soothe with the Five Senses + Movement. They will review coping skills they can use that incorporate each of the five senses and movement to help them better tolerate distress.

Session 6: TIPP for Managing Extreme Emotions

Students will learn the TIPP Skill for managing extreme emotions. Practicing this skill activates the parasympathetic nervous system which can quickly reduce intense emotions.

Session 7: Understanding and Describing Emotions

Students will begin to learn about Emotion Regulation and will learn about the different components of an emotion to better understand how they are feeling. Understanding how feelings function will help students to better regulate their emotions.

Session 8: Check the Facts and Opposite Action

Students will learn to Check the Facts to see if their emotions fit the situation. They will learn to practice Opposite Action if their emotion does not fit the facts.

Session 9: Accumulating Positive Experiences

Students will learn skills to increase their positive emotions and reduce their vulnerability to negative emotions. This lesson helps students to increase their daily fun activities in the short-term and identify and work toward their values in the-long term.

Session 10: Build Mastery, Cope Ahead, PLEASE Skills

Students will learn skills to increase their competence and confidence, to cope ahead well with potential distress, and to take care of their bodies to reduce their vulnerability to negative emotions.

Session 11: Jeopardy Review

Students will review what they have learned in group through a fun Jeopardy game.

Request Service

Please follow these steps to help streamline the process to bring our mood treatment group to your school:

  1. Establish a consistent and responsive point of contact to coordinate the application process, scheduling, logistics, data collection, and caregiver communication.
  2. Send an email to to schedule a partnership meeting.
  3. Once our team confirms partnership, swiftly provide appropriate student referrals and speak with legal guardians to obtain verbal consent.
  4. Provide a consistent, confidential time and meeting space for weekly student groups (1 hour at a designated time each week).