Helping Kids to Confidently Ride the Waves of Big Feelings



By Jessica Fisher, Psy.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow / Dialectical Behavior Therapy Specialty
Supervised by Vicki Chiang, Psy.D, PSY21136


How do I know if my child could use support? 

Some kids are born into the world with big feelings! This is both a gift and a burden because these kids feel love and happiness in a really big way, but they also feel sadness and anger very intensely. Big feelings often lead to big behaviors like yelling, crying, or refusing to do things. Groups like WaveRiders™ are designed to help these kids and their families to navigate the big waves of feelings.


What is WaveRiders™? 

WaveRiders™ is a program based in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. The WaveRiders™ skills and workbook have been adapted for kids ages 9 to 11. It includes a group and individual therapy component.


  • Group Therapy: Kids and parents each have their own groups! The groups run at the same time, and both kids and parents learn the same skills. This allows the whole family to be learning and practicing new skills together.


  • Individual Therapy: The kids also have their own space to process their feelings during the week and learn how to apply their new skills to their lives.


What types of skills are taught in WaveRiders?

This program teaches all the skill modules from DBT:


  • Mindfulness:  Learn to take control of your mind, noticing thoughts, feelings and judgments.  Learning mindfulness can help to reduce impulsivity and move away from emotional thoughts that lead to big feeling waves.


  • Emotional Regulation:  Learn what feelings are and why we have them – plus how to increase pleasant feelings and decrease unpleasant ones.


  • Distress Tolerance: Learn a wide range of coping skills to manage big waves of emotion without making the situation worse.


  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Improve people skills! Learn to start and maintain healthy relationships and find a balance between giving and taking.


  • Middle Path: Gain skills to navigate conflict and work through disagreements to find a middle path.


How do I learn more? 

Call our Intake coordinator at 626-585-8075 ext. 108. She will gather information from you and answer general questions you may have. After the phone intake, our team will review the information you’ve shared with her and follow up with suggested next steps.

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