Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is helpful for those who have difficulty regulating their emotions or are exhibiting self-destructive behaviors, including addiction and substance use disorders.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. The main goal is to teach people how to develop healthy ways of coping with stress, regulate emotions, improve relationships with others, and learn how to live in the moment. DBT was originally meant to treat borderline personality disorder but has since been adapted to treat other forms of mental health conditions.

Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

What is Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy?

DBT is helpful for those who have difficulty regulating their emotions or maybe exhibiting self-destructive behaviors. This can include but is not limited to, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, bipolar disorder, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

A doctor created dialectical-behavioral therapy in the late 1980s by the name of Dr. Marsha Linehan and her colleagues when they found out that cognitive-behavioral therapy on its own did not work as well as they had hoped for patients suffering from a borderline personality disorder. They took the initiative to add techniques and develop a new treatment that met the unique needs of these patients. DBT integrates a philosophical process that is called dialects. It is based on the concept that everything in the world is composed of opposites and that changes will occur when there is a dialogue that has happened between the opposing forces of opposites. Dialectics makes three basic assumptions:

  • All things are interconnected.
  • Opposites can be combined to form a closer calculation of the truth.
  • Change is a constant thing and is inevitable.

What Happens During DBT Addiction Therapy

During this form of therapy, the therapies will validate that the patient’s actions “make sense” in the context of that personal occurrence but they don’t necessarily agree that it was the best approach to solving the problem. DBT addiction therapy has turned into an evidence-based psychotherapy approach that is not used to treat many different conditions. It is used in three different kinds of settings including:

  • Individual setting: This includes only a trained professional and the patient. A patient’s learned behavioral skills are adapted to their life challenges.
  • Group settings: patients will be shown behavioral skills by completing “homework” assignments and role-playing new ways to interact with others.
  • Phone coaching: A patient s ability to call the therapist in between therapy sessions to receive guidance on how to cope with a hard situation that they are currently in.

For those who undergo Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy, they are taught how to change their behavior by using four main strategies. The first is the core mindfulness. This is possibly the more important strategy in DBT and it is used to develop mindfulness skills. Mindfulness allows you to focus in the present moment and that helps you pay attention to what is going on inside you and fine-tunes your senses to what is happening around you.

Strategies for Lasting Recovery in Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy

The next strategy is called distress tolerance. This helps you to accept yourself in your current situation. These techniques help you prepare for intense emotions while empowering you to cope with them more positively for the long term.

The third strategy is known as interpersonal effectiveness. This allows you to become more assertive in a relationship by giving you the ability to say no or express your needs. It shows you how to listen and communicate effectively, deal with difficult people, and respect yourself.

The last strategy is emotional regulation. This teaches you how to navigate through powerful feelings more effectively. It will show you how to identify and change your emotions. When you can recognize and cope with negative emotions, you will reduce your emotional vulnerability and become more positive.

Contact On Call Treatment 24/7

If you or someone you love think you might benefit from Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT), it’s important to talk with a healthcare provider or mental health professional who is trained in the approach. Contact On-Call Treatment to get the help you need. We are available to assist men, women, and families on the journey to lasting sobriety from substance use disorders and other co-occurring disorders.