Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy used in addiction recovery. Psychologist Marsha M. Linehan developed the therapy to treat suicidality. Now substance abuse treatment centers in Tampa, FL, and elsewhere, use DBT techniques as first-line treatment for severe forms of mental disorders.
They include those who don’t respond to standard treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Disorders at the top of the list are personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. Research finds that DBT also effectively treats depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
DBT treatment focuses on several core skills: mindfulness, acceptance, and emotion regulation. It’s often used in individual therapy, but it can also be used in group therapy sessions. The therapist teaches the skills, then helps the individual apply them to real-life situations and practice them. The therapist also provides guidance and support as the individual learns how to use the skills to make positive changes.
Using DBT Techniques for Addiction Recovery
The behavioral treatment techniques are really strategies a therapist uses to help the client sober up and remain sober. DBT therapy programs in Tampa, FL use some special techniques that focus on developing motivation in patients and helping them to realize change. Focus is also on cultivating new behaviors and positive coping skills.
DBT is accomplished with the therapist and patient working together to achieve certain goals. The therapist tries to achieve this through these three main DBT techniques:
- Mindfulness: In short, this means living in the present without judging what is happening at that particular moment. It takes a lot of practice to achieve this skill. However, it helps the client to put away expectations and biases. Instead, they should objectively view people and the things that happen to and around them instead of going into stress mode.
- Acceptance: This technique helps the client to understand and accept that certain problems in life can cause stress or distress. Some can be changed, and others cannot. By accepting this, they can take positive steps to address issues they can control and let go of those they cannot. Examples of uncontrollable events are the loss of a loved one or a traumatic experience.
- Emotional regulation: Intense emotional states can cause extreme reactions, for example, in patients with a borderline personality disorder. As such, DBT focuses on helping the patient identify those emotions. Through mindfulness, they can work on reducing negative reactive behaviors, e.g., drug or alcohol use, and choose positive responses. For example, talking to a trusted friend or a therapist.
Acceptance and change are big for recovery using DBT techniques. To sober up and improve their lives, individuals must accept his/her addiction to drugs and alcohol. They must also commit to changing harmful behaviors that prolonged substance abuse.
Who Can Benefit from DBT Techniques?
DBT is an effective therapy for treating substance use disorder and various mental health issues that cause or worsen addiction. It is done one-on-one with a therapist or in a group setting. Meanwhile, certain clients in recovery generally make suitable candidates for this type of psychiatric treatment. They include those who have difficulty managing stress, regulating emotions, or building a quality life free from substance abuse.
DBT can also help if you are unable to stop harmful or problematic behaviors or avoid substance use triggers and cues, e.g., cravings. It can improve your ability to be mindful and aware of the present moment, build healthier relationships with others, and get more out of life.
Finally, DBT can help to strengthen your ability to manage challenges and difficult times without needing to resort to substance abuse. It may also be used in conjunction with medications and other therapies.
In general, DBT is a very useful tool for individuals in recovery from substance abuse. It can provide them with the skills and tools necessary to remain abstinent from substance use, cope with difficult emotions and situations, and build a better future.
Treating Substance Abuse at BoardPrep Recovery Center®
We understand that treating addiction is complex. That is why DBT techniques are an option for patients who may not benefit from another form of mental health treatment. However, a combination of approaches can tackle substance abuse from all angles and give you a greater chance of kicking the addiction.
Regardless, our certified doctors, therapists, and mental health specialists will work together to tailor a recovery plan that is best for you. The plan can consist of medical detox and dual diagnosis treatment. This helps treat substance abuse and co-occurring disorders at the same time. Your recovery team will determine which of these therapies is suitable for you:
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Family therapy
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
We are here to help you when you’re ready to free yourself from the chains of addiction. The results of your physical and mental evaluation will help determine if you are a good fit for day-night or outpatient drug rehab programs in Florida that use DBT techniques. Certain clients better fit the partial hospitalization program (PHP) or the intensive outpatient program (IOP). There is also the young adult rehab program.