At Sunrise Residential Treatment Center, DBT is a core component of our treatment program. We use DBT to help our clients learn new coping skills and develop more effective ways of managing their emotions and relationships. However, learning these skills in therapy is just the first step. To truly benefit from DBT, clients must learn to generalize these skills to their everyday lives.


Generalization is the process of taking what is learned in one context (such as therapy) and applying it to other contexts (such as home, work, or social situations). Generalization is an essential component of successful therapy because it helps clients to develop more adaptive and effective behaviors and skills outside of the therapeutic environment.


We asked our Senior Residential Director, Tiare Bridges, to explain how Sunrise focuses on generating DBT skills: 


“Sunrise integrates DBT into all staff training to further their knowledge of DBT and prepares them to support the students at the moment. It allows Sunrise to provide their students with opportunities to learn DBT from their mentors, therapist, and teachers as well as in group therapy. In return, students are able to put their skills to the test by practicing them when volunteering, working at their first job, during visits with family and friends, or when participating in community classes and activities. Sunrise makes these things possible while living here in a supportive environment so that the student can return home, continue these practices, and live a life worth living!”


It’s ok to mess up while at Sunrise! It’s part of the process. We try to be a safe space for students to process what works for them and what absolutely does not. At Sunrise Residential Treatment Center, we believe that generalizing DBT skills is essential for successful treatment outcomes. By teaching clients to apply their skills in real-life situations, we can help them to develop more effective coping strategies and improve their overall quality of life.


Here’s a video from our Executive Director, Amanda Riding, giving a real-life example of a student generalizing her skills: