What is Dialectical behavior therapy?
When you are at the beginning of the process of addiction treatment, the number of different practices and methods that are used to treat addiction can be puzzling to figure out. What therapy is the best for drug addiction treatment? How are they different? Today we will take a closer look at DBT.
What is DBT? DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy and is one type of cognitive behavior therapy. Its program includes identifying and changing negative thinking patterns, pushing for positive behavioral changes. DBT gives skills for managing painful emotions and controlling suicidal thoughts.
What is DBT used for? While DBT training can help you regardless of whether you struggling with mental health issues, it is usually used to support the ones who experience:
- substance use disorders
- self-harm or suicidal ideation
- borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- eating disorders
If you see the signs that your mental health symptoms negatively impact your health, relationships, or quality of life, DBT therapy is a good choice for you.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy benefits
In the DBT, a therapist and a patient work together to resolve the contradiction between self-acceptance and change for bringing positive changes in the individual’s behavior. Validation is a part of this DBT treatment that helps a person to become more open to cooperation and less likely to stress about the idea of change.
So in the process of dialectic behavioral therapy, the therapist validates that a patient’s behavior “makes sense” within the context of an individual’s personal experience without necessarily accepting that these actions are the best way to solve problems.
In the DBT program, each therapeutic setting has its own goals and structure. What are the six main points of dialectical behavior therapy? Here they are:
Acceptance and change.
At this stage, people learn strategies to accept and tolerate their life circumstances, themselves, and emotions. They also develop new skills which help them to make positive changes in their actions and thoughts.
People learn how to analyze their destructive behavior patterns and problems, and replace them with more effective and healthy ones.
Patients focus on changing beliefs and thoughts that are not helpful and effective.
At this point, it is all about learning how to work and communicate effectively with your therapist.
People gather new skills to enhance their capabilities.
Patients are encouraged to recognize their positive attributes and strengths and develop and use them.
As a part of addiction treatment programs, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is beneficial because it gives acceptance and change, it is also realistic about abstinence, motivating engagement in and treatment completion. And that’s why DBT is an excellent choice for dual diagnosis treatment programs.
With the beginning of the substance abuse treatment, DBT encouraged complete abstinence with the help of DBT distress tolerance skills, DBT emotion regulation skills, DBT stop skills, DBT chain analysis, DBT mindfulness, DBT coping skills, DBT diary cards, etc. For a patient, who is new to the recovery process, this sometimes can be a very intimidating prospect. That’s why a therapist breaks down long-term sobriety into easier obtained small goals. A certified DBT therapist helps a person to continue to succeed, gain stability, and move closer to a drug-free life.
In the process of dialectical behavior therapy training, it targets different behaviors for improving patient’s chance of recovery:
- Alleviating or reducing withdrawal symptoms
- Removing environmental and social triggers for drug use
- Reducing temptations for relapse and cravings
- Reducing cravings and temptations for relapse
- Overcoming thoughts and behaviour that leads to drug use
- Reinforcing healthy behaviour, environments and relationships that support sobriety
Techniques and components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Is dialectical behavior therapy effective? Everyone decides for him/herself, but DBT is highly structured and gives knowledge and skills for developing what is referred to as a “clear mind.” DBT consists of four modules:
DBT mindfulness skills teach people how to become more aware of the present moment. A person learns to focus on one thing at a time, without any judgment of himself/herself and others.
DBT distress tolerance skills help people to accept things they do not have control over. It teaches you how to feel intense emotions like anger without self-harming, substance abuse, or impulsive reaction. It includes self-soothing and distraction techniques.
In this stage, people gather skills for creating healthy relationships while looking after themselves. Interpersonal effectiveness includes listening well, working through conflict, and clearly forming your questions.
DBT Emotion regulation skills help a patient to label emotions without judging them. In this module, people learn how different emotions shape their behavior and how different obstacles prevent them from managing these emotions.
Addiction often occurs as a way to cope with strong emotions and bad feelings or situations. DBT can help the ones suffering from substance abuse and develop effective ways to regulate emotions, manage stress, and be mindful of themselves.
Hathaway Recovery is an industry leader in Addiction & Dual Diagnosis Treatment. A doctor-operated facility that offers 24/7 care, monitoring & support. Hathaway Recovery is staffed with a team of professionals who are highly trained and constantly strive to offer the most innovative and effective care and therapy.
Contact us today for more information on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and addiction treatment.