DBT Intensive Outpatient Program

True  North Track
Compass' Teen & Young Adult DBT Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)


Compass' True North Track, a DBT Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), is the first of its kind in Orange County, California. Our unique program is a great match for kids struggling with depression and anxiety as the number one problem (as opposed to other programs who focus on substance abuse). Compass has a safe program where parents can feel comfortable that their kids are focusing on learning better ways to manage their depression and anxiety. DBT has strict guidelines that coach both families and kids to use the language of "target behavior" instead of discussing dysfunctional coping behaviors such as self-harm in detail - this keeps the group process safe for skill building and learning.

IOP is the preferred level of care for teens and young adults who need increased support and treatment. The IOP model allows your child to remain at home and in school while learning new skills and taking part in more intensive therapies. This is preferred to residential programs, which temporarily remove the child from their environment entirely. IOP is ideal in that your child has the opportunity to learn new behaviors in the context that they will be needing to use them - this is called skills generalization. While inpatient and residential placements can serve a needed role, they often break down in their longer term efficacy without a "step down" model such as an IOP. Without a program like Compass' True North Track, skills often don't generalize to the home and school environment where kids need them most.

Why Choose Compass?

We are specialists here at Compass, we do one thing and do it exceptionally well: we treat depressed and anxious teens and young adults with gold standard, evidence-based treatments in the context of facilitating belonging, community, and finding purpose. Compass has the only Comprehensive, Adherent DBT IOP in Orange County, California for teens and young adults. All Compass clinicians have been comprehensively trained in DBT and are in the process of rigorous Linehan-DBT Certification or completing the prerequisites (the Gold Standard in DBT). Our program receives on-going oversight from our DBT expert consultants from Duke and Vanderbilt Universities through video session coding and case conceptualization evaluations.

What You Can Expect

The IOP program consists of a minimum of 9 hours of individual and/or group therapy per week with active family participation and collaborative development of the treatment components based on specific needs. Intensive treatment includes some combination of:

Individual DBT sessions
Individualized Skills coaching
DBT skills training group
DBT Multi-family groups (teens and parents together)
Mindfulness group
Family Therapy

Adjunctive Evidenced Based Therapies as Needed (such as prolonged exposure, CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, executive functioning coaching, etc)

Our thorough assessment process will help your family find the right level of care for your child. Teens and young adults who may benefit from Compass' True North Track include kids who display one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty managing intense emotions (mood swings, impulsivity)
  • A history of cutting or other self-injurious behavior
  • School avoidance/refusal
  • A history of suicide attempts and/or suicidal ideation (thoughts)
  • Previous therapy or failed treatments
  • A stepdown after discharge from inpatient, residential or partial hospitalization
  • Pervasive and repeated patterns of interpersonal difficulty (bullying, being bullied, being "dumped" by friends)

Compass' Teen & Young Adult DBT IOP is a family systems approach to skill building and wellness and requires a minimum 6-week commitment from the entire family.

True North Track Schedule *:

Monday 5-8 pm
Group Skills Coaching (1 hr)
DBT Skills Training Group (2 hrs)
Wednesday 5-8 pm
Skills Coaching (1 hr)
Multi-Family DBT Group (2 hrs)
Friday 3 - 6 pm
Recreational Therapy (1 hr)
Applied DBT Group (2 hrs)
Tuesdays & Thursdays **
Individual Therapy (90 min)
Family Therapy (90 min)
Saturdays 1-2:30 (First Saturday of the Month)
Mindfulness Meditation & Yoga
*Individualized IOP schedules can be developed and tailored to your child's needs.
**Individual and Family Therapy are scheduled 1 to 2 days a week.