SAGE Program for Young Adults

Home Treatment & Wellness Treatment Programs SAGE Program for Young Adults

Admission is now open for this outpatient program which is designed for young adults who have difficulty regulating emotions and behaviors and present with multiple problems. This is a six-week program that meets four days a week. Entry into the program is possible every Monday.

The SAGE Program for Young Adults

The STEPS Program has a new name, it is now called SAGE - The System for Adult Growth and Emergence

Attend Virtually from the Safety of Your Home!

Admission is now open for this outpatient program, that utilizes DBT and CBT principles, designed for young adults who have difficulty regulating emotions and behaviors and present with multiple problems. We are running group and individual therapies virtually in order to reach young adults whose lives may have been further disrupted by school closings, loss of part time employment, difficulties transitioning from college to full time jobs, and enforced social isolation. Parents also attend virtually. Parents may particularly benefit from learning validation and conflict resolution skills at a time when more young adults are living at home and families are spending so many hours together.

6 WEEK PROGRAM, 4 MORNINGS/WEEK PROGRAM ENTRY DATES: Rolling - starting every Monday

Structure of the Program

SAGE for Young Adults is a 2-part program with a Coordinating Parent program.

SAGE 1: Young Adult Individual therapy + Skills Training: Young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 will meet for six weeks, four mornings per week, Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 12:30 pm. Participants must commit to the full six weeks of skills training. New members may join at the beginning of each module. Individual sessions to be scheduled weekly. After-hours skills coaching will be provided by the individual therapist.

SAGE 2: Individual therapy + Skills Generalization/Executive Function Group: Young adults who have completed the skills training portion of SAGE will meet for two groups per week aimed at increasing DBT skills generalization and improving executive function, Tuesday/Thursday, 1-3 pm. Young adults will work on their specific, measurable goals throughout SAGE 2. Minimum commitment to skills generalization group is six weeks. After six weeks, young adults have the option of decreasing skills generalization to one group per week. Individual sessions to be scheduled weekly.

Coordinating Parent Program: Parents' modified DBT skills training course is aimed at increasing parents' effective responses to their young adults and at increasing the parents' own ability to regulate their emotions. Parents in this group often express the value of finding support from their cohort. Current program is 14 weeks with new entries at the half point. Parent management training, couples therapy, or individual therapy for parents may be recommended on a case-by-case basis for an additional fee. Parent coaching will be provided by the parent management therapist or individual therapist.


Accepted participants are generally ages 18-26, high school graduates, with a primary diagnosis of mood or anxiety disorder. Participants may experience suicidal ideation and/or engage in self-injurious behaviors, however, they have no intent to commit suicide and are willing to seek assistance during times of stress. Exclusionary criteria: primary diagnosis of substance abuse, severe cognitive limitations, or violent behavior. Patients may be referred from a variety of sources, including current CBC therapists, inpatient settings, partial hospital settings, outpatient therapy and psychopharmacological providers, medical providers, college counseling departments, themselves or their families. Participants will need internet access in a quiet and confidential space as well as access to a phone. They will need to seek psychopharmacological and medical support independently.

Stipulations: we require consent to reach out to parent in case of emergency. We will follow up with families cases when participants have significant difficulties rousing themselves to attend program.

Admission Procedures

Interested participants should contact Dr. Michelle Greenberg at 914-385-1150, Option 1, to schedule an intake assessment with Dr. Suzanne Davino or another SAGE team member. Intake assessments may be waived and orientation to SAGE may be integrated into regular sessions in cases where a participant has begun individual therapy with a CBC provider.


After completion of the program, participants will be referred for aftercare on a case-by-case basis. Many participants will find it helpful to step down to a standardized comprehensive DBT program, where skills can be encoded in more depth and over time. The basic knowledge of skills provided by the SAGE program is expected to enhance understanding and application of comprehensive DBT. In cases where safety behaviors were not a presenting problem, the recommendation may be to continue in individual therapy only.

SAGE 1: Skills-training Content

  1. Orientation - goals, skills training assumptions, biosocial theory, intro to executive function skills
  2. Mindfulness Skills - goals, states of mind, how & what skills, mindfulness meditation & practice calendar review daily
  3. Distress Tolerance - Crisis Survival: STOP, Pros/Cons, TIP, ACCEPTS, Radical Acceptance.
  4. Emotion Regulation - Components, Check facts/Problem-solving/Opposite Action, ABC Please
  5. Interpersonal Effectiveness- DEAR MAN/GIVE/FAST, Troubleshooting IE skills,
  6. Dialectics/Middle Path/Behaviorism- skills to manage seemingly conflicting situations such as being a young adult and being financially dependent on one’s family.
  7. Specific executive function skills including goal setting, prioritizing, time estimation, overcoming procrastination, and flexible thinking.

SAGE 2: DBT Skills Generalization/Executive Function Content

DBT Skills Generalization/Executive Function groups will include mindfulness practice, skills review and “skills drills” to increase recall memory of DBT content, skills rehearsal using pre-selected role plays, and skills generalization using consultation & role play. Supplemental materials will include more in-depth training on executive function and self-management skills, and when appropriate, additional content from Linehan’s DBT Skills Training: Handouts and Worksheets e.g., “Dialectical abstinence”, “Finding and Getting People to like you”, “Ending Relationships”, “Mindfulness to Others”.

The Course Director:

Suzanne Davino, Ph.D., Director of Young Adult Programs, is a full-time licensed clinical psychologist at CBC and provides CBT and DBT through individual, family, couple, and group modalities to clients of all ages. Prior to joining CBC, Dr. Davino was the Director of the Partial Hospitalization Programs at Four Winds Hospital where she ran DBT-based day programs for children, adolescents, and adults for over a decade. She developed the SAGE program with Dr. Alec Miller, co-founder of Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants.

Dr. Davino has a B.A. in psychology from SUNY Cortland, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Binghamton University. She completed her doctoral internship at the VA Medical Center in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Davino is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy since 2008, with extensive experience adapting DBT to short-term, intensive settings. Dr. Davino’s expertise is in applying emotion regulation therapy to individuals of all ages who demonstrate multi-problem behaviors, as well as those who have borderline personality disorder and who engage in suicidal and self-injurious behaviors. Dr. Davino has presented research at conferences on a variety of topics including visual imagery, sleep disorders, intelligence testing, and the relationship between mindfulness and rumination. Dr. Davino is an active member of the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies and a Founding Member of the New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association.


Make an Appointment or a Referral

Please contact our Director of Intake Services at 212-595-9559 (ext.5) or 914-385-1150 (ext.1), or fill out the form above, with any questions regarding eligibility, for further information, or to make a referral. If you are a current patient at CBC, please speak to your individual therapist to see how this group may be of added benefit to you.