Alcohol addiction can be a difficult disorder to treat. However, with the right approach, many individuals find success in overcoming their addiction. One such approach is dialectical behavior therapy for alcohol addiction treatment. 

Dialectical behavior therapy has been used effectively to treat alcohol addiction and various other mental health disorders. So let’s take a look at dialectical behavior therapy and how it works in treating alcohol addiction.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of vocalized therapy developed in the late 1980s that has been shown to be effective in treating a wide variety of mental health disorders, including addiction. 

Dialectical behavior therapy aims to help individuals learn new skills that will help them manage their emotions and behaviors more effectively. It also focuses on finding a balance between accepting one’s feelings and thoughts while working towards making positive changes. Dialectical behavior therapy for alcohol addiction treatment typically involves:

  • Individual therapy sessions.
  • Group skills training classes where individuals learn new coping strategies for managing their emotions and behaviors.
  • Even telephonic coaching sessions.

All of these sessions are usually held at an addiction treatment center or, specifically, at an alcohol rehab center.

How Does Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Work?

Dialectical behavior therapy can be an effective treatment approach for individuals struggling with alcohol addiction because it helps them learn new skills for managing their cravings and urges as well as dealing with any emotional triggers that may lead to drinking. 

During individual sessions at an addiction treatment center, individuals are encouraged to explore their motivations for drinking and identify any underlying issues contributing to their addictive behaviors. 

This allows individuals to gain insight into why they drink and helps them develop more effective coping strategies for addressing these issues in healthy ways instead of turning to alcohol.

In addition, during group skills training classes, individuals learn specific coping strategies; all of which can help them better manage their cravings and urges. These skills will help when cravings and urges arise so that individuals do not turn back to old habits like drinking alcohol when things get tough or stressful. 

They will also have the opportunity to practice these skills in a supportive environment with others who understand what they are going through, which can help create stronger accountability and motivation for recovery success.

Telephonic coaching sessions work similarly to individual training sessions, but they are done over the phone. Sometimes individuals request telephonic sessions as they may not be able to attend an in-person session or group skills training class. 

These individuals will still have access to their therapist at any time during their recovery journey, which can be especially helpful as they work through challenging moments and situations that may arise in their day-to-day lives.

What Are The Strategies Taught In Dialectical Behaviour Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy For Alcohol Addiction Treatment

There are four main strategies taught to individuals undergoing dialectical behavior therapy for alcohol addiction treatment. These strategies are mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.


Dialectical behavior therapy for alcohol addiction treatment teaches individuals to be mindful of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, which helps them better understand what triggers these things. This understanding can help an individual make positive changes in their life to reduce the risk of relapse.

Interpersonal Effectiveness:

Individuals also learn how to communicate more effectively with others and set boundaries when needed. Many people struggling with alcohol addiction also have issues with interpersonal relationships and may turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. Dialectical behavior therapy helps individuals work on these areas, so they are able to maintain healthy, positive relationships.

Emotion Regulation:

This strategy helps individuals learn how to manage their emotions in healthier ways. Individuals often use alcohol as a way to cope with difficult feelings such as anger, depression, anxiety, and frustration, so learning to manage these emotions through other strategies can help reduce the risk of relapse.

Distress Tolerance:

The final strategy taught in dialectical behavior therapy for alcohol addiction treatment is distress tolerance. This involves learning how to tolerate negative emotions without turning to alcohol as a way to numb or avoid them.

 Individuals will discover four primary techniques when learning about the distress tolerance strategy. These include self-soothing, how to improve a stressful situation, considering the pros and cons of a situation, and how to distract yourself during these difficult situations.

Dialectical behavior therapy for alcohol addiction treatment can be an effective approach for individuals because it helps them gain insight into why they drink. This therapy provides individuals with specific tools to better manage their cravings and urges when they arise so that they do not turn back to old practices like drinking alcohol when things get difficult or stressful. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, consider attending an alcohol rehab center to help you learn and understand these strategies and get back on the path to a happier and healthier life. With the right support system in place, recovery from alcohol addiction can be possible!


Download this article

Call Now Button