DBT Intensive Outpatient Program

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


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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 for Certified DBT Therapy in Orange County?

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 is the only DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Program™ in Orange County, California. All Compass clinicians have been comprehensively trained in DBT and are in the process of rigorous DBT-Linehan Board of Certification - certification or completing the prerequisites (the Gold Standard in DBT). Our program receives on-going oversight as a Duke University Performance site, tracking treatment outcomes.

What You Can Expect

A unique and one of a kind IOP program unlike any other that is tailored to your child's needs and receives more one-on-one support, as opposed to many other programs that are mostly group therapy. Our IOP program consists of 6 hours of individual sessions, one-on-one skills coaching, family therapy and 3 hours of Skills Training Group per week with active family participation and collaborative development of the treatment components are based on specific needs. Intensive treatment includes a combination of:

  • Individual DBT sessions
  • Individualized Skills Coaching (one-on-one behavioral rehearsing of skills with coaching and feedback)
  • DBT Skills Training Group
  • DBT Multi-Family Group (both teens and parents)
  • Family Therapy as needed

Adjunctive Evidence Based Therapies as needed (such as DBT - Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Management of Anxiety and Panic – Adolescents (MAP-A), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), Behavioral Activation (BA), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-E), Motivational Interviewing (MI), 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 suicide attempts and/or suicidal thoughts
  • A history of cutting or other self-injurious behavior
  • School refusal/avoidance
  • 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 whole family wellness.  Individualized IOP schedules can be developed and tailored to your child's needs.