Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

What is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy with a focus on the patient’s feelings and emotions, and how they contribute to a person becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. Dialectical behavior therapies (DBT) teach patients to accept things as they are and make changes through new life skills, and better communication, and help with relapse prevention in those dealing with addiction alongside their mental health disorders. A DBT therapy program involves skills training in four main categories:

  1.       Mindfulness

There are six core components to mindfulness skills:

  • Observing thoughts, feelings, sensations, and whatever else is going on
  • Describing in words what you have observed
  • Fully participating in an experience
  • Reducing judgment and focus on the facts
  • Doing one thing at a time instead of multitasking
  • Doing what works for you
  1.       Distress tolerance

There are six key skills to help you with distress tolerance. These are:

TIPP: temperature (cool the body down), intense exercise, paced breathing (“box” breathing) and paired muscle relaxation – these techniques will reduce anxiety and the fight or flight response to stress

ACCEPTS: activities (engage in an activity), contributing (do something kind for someone), comparisons (put your life into perspective), emotions (take action to invoke a more positive emotion), push away (allow yourself to forget the issue for a while), thoughts (distract from anxious thoughts), and sensations (use the five senses to self-soothe), all techniques that will keep your emotions manageable when you are in an uncomfortable situation, until you are ready to meet the problem head-on.

IMPROVE: imagery (imagining yourself dealing with the issue), meaning (finding a meaning or lesson in the experience), prayer, relaxation, one thing (stay in the moment and focus on one thing mindfully), vacation (give yourself a break), encouragement, all skills that help you tolerate emotions until their intensity subsides

Pro and con list: making a list that helps you decide which action to take using honest pros and cons can help you make the healthier choice

Self-soothe: use the body’s senses to reduce the intensity of negative emotions. Focus on something else in the room, listen intently to a sound or song, notice how something feels to your sense of touch, etc.

Radical acceptance: accept your situation, even if it is uncomfortable, and go ahead with it anyway instead of fighting against it to improve distress tolerance

  1.       Emotional regulation

Emotional regulation increases emotional resiliency through identifying and understanding emotions and working to change our responses to unpleasant emotions, letting them pass and allowing them to tell you what you need to know about your situation before you decide to listen to the emotion or let it go. You can work on emotional regulation by:

  • Accumulating positive experiences
  • Building mastery
  • Prepare in advance for emotionally difficult situations
  • Treating physical illness, eating and sleeping well, getting exercise and avoiding substance abuse
  • Taking the opposite action from what our emotions say when they don’t fit the facts
  1.       Interpersonal effectiveness

This is simply the skill of communicating your needs, setting boundaries, and coping with conflict when it arises. You will learn to reach your goals and navigate obstacles without damaging personal relationships or self-respect.

Dialectical behavior therapy was first developed to help people with a borderline personality disorder but it can help anybody experiencing mental health issues like alcohol and drug abuse, PTSD, eating disorders and depression.

The Four Components of DBT

The four components of DBT are individual therapy, group therapy, life skills building, and DBT phone coaching.

  1. In individual therapy: you will begin self-discovery, and discuss your feelings about life, people, and the negative feelings that are getting in your way. This helps patients to identify the onset of unhelpful behaviors (like substance abuse in addiction recovery) and make a different choice.
  2. In group therapy: you will focus on two aspects of treatment: finding camaraderie and support for relapse prevention and skill building through communication, hearing what others are going through, and breaking down your own barriers and walls.
  3. In life skills building: this is the search for solutions once you have learned to identify problematic thoughts and behaviors. You can learn to better manage your finances, improve your physical health, etc.
  4. In DBT phone coaching: you will reinforce your DBT skills after rehab by talking with a therapist or life coach over the phone, an especially useful resource for relapse prevention

At Sylvan Detox, along with DBT, we have a comprehensive customized treatment program for each patient in our care that may include:

  • Mental health treatment in dual diagnosis treatment programs customized to best help those with a co-occurring disorder or mental illness alongside addiction like borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
  • Holistic drug and alcohol addiction treatment like sound therapy, yoga, massage, breathwork, physical fitness, and nutrition
  • Individual therapies, group therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Behavioral health treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and DBT for substance abuse
  • Medication management, medical detox, and medication-assisted treatment for heroin addiction, alcohol addiction, or benzodiazepine prescription drug addiction in our detox center
  • Denial management and relapse prevention
  • 12-step programs and fellowship introductions

We belong to a nationwide network of treatment providers, treating issues like:

  • marijuana addiction
  • xanax addiction
  • meth addiction
  • alcohol rehab
  • alcohol detox
  • cocaine addiction
  • opioid addiction

Our network has levels of care that include inpatient treatment and outpatient programs like:

  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Partial hospitalization outpatient rehab
  • Sober living home connections
  • Women’s rehab program
  • Men’s rehab program
  • Alumni program connections

Please call our rehab center today for insurance verification or to learn more about therapies for addiction treatment, our dialectical behavior therapy program, or our luxury treatment center and all the amenities and services we have to offer.

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(818) 308-3099

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