Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is for individuals suffering from personality disorders. DBT also accompanies other treatments for addictive disorders. Lastly, the therapy is effective for dual diagnosis treatment for recovery.

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy | Ocean RecoveryThis offshoot of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), treats people with borderline personality disorder and suicidal thoughts. The approach is attributed to Dr. Marsha Linehan, who expanded the practice of CBT to include dialectics.

Dialectics are opposites. Using DBT, therapists help clients integrate the concepts of acceptance and change, which may seem to contradict each other. Clients find balance when they assimilate the opposing forces in their lives.

Many people who struggle with addiction see the world in black and white and have trouble coming to terms with the middle ground. This type of thinking can be an obstacle to recovery because getting sober is a journey that straddles the middle ground.

Accepting that there can be many sides to one story can help people acknowledge different truths and perspectives. This is especially important when someone has been tied to limiting beliefs that are preventing him or her from seeking recovery.

4 Components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

The skills that are taught within DBT incorporate the following four elements:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Distress tolerance
  3. Interpersonal effectiveness
  4. Emotion regulation

Mindfulness training helps clients be present and focus on each moment as it occurs. By finding mental clarity and balance, individuals learn to make better decisions without acting in response to their emotions.

Distress tolerance skills are techniques for coping with strong feelings. People learn they don’t have to run from or be controlled by their emotions. They discover healthy ways for dealing with stressors that might trigger drug use.

When they learn interpersonal effectiveness skills, people recognize what they need in a relationship. They work on repairing damaged relationships with themselves and others. They also develop better communication patterns and focus on establishing boundaries.

Emotion regulation skills teach how to understand intense feelings without reacting to them in negative ways. People learn how to properly label their emotions, apply distress tolerance strategies and take action that opposes the emotion.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Techniques

People who go through this type of therapy may work in individual or group settings with various therapists.

In the first stage, clients focus on reducing damaging or reckless behaviors and building skills that make them feel in control. During the second stage of treatment, they focus on becoming emotionally engaged without succumbing to overwhelming feelings or the need to escape. The third stage focuses on building realistic life skills. In the fourth stage, clients will work on their connection with the world to help them feel fulfilled and complete.

This type of therapy may help you stop using drugs, manage the powerful emotions that accompany withdrawal, reduce cravings and avoid substance abuse triggers. DBT also encourages you to find support through healthy relationships and find alternative activities that will help you stay sober.

Drug Rehab At Ocean Recovery

At Ocean Recovery Treatment Center, we incorporate dialectical behavioral therapy into a holistic healing plan, which may also include:

Our staff will support you as you transition through the different stages of treatment and back into your regular routine. You can heal at your own pace in our safe, compassionate environment.

Get the support and skills that you need for a successful recovery by calling us at (855) 271-6289. We offer various programs that are customized to your needs so that you build a strong foundation for successful sobriety.