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Dialectical Behavior Therapy For Substance Abuse Addiction Treatment

If you’re experiencing addiction and you’re seeking support and help, you may be interested in learning about the different types of therapy and professional medical assistance that can help you on your journey to recovery. Recovery can be a complex subject area and professional support can help you to understand the root causes of your addiction and behaviors, then helping you to tackle the core problem, freeing you from your addiction and helping you to live a healthier and happier life. There are, of course, plenty of different types of treatment that you can try. But for now, let’s focus on Dialectical Behavior Therapy and what it can do for you!

The History of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Developed by psychologist Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy that was originally developed with the aim of treating patients with borderline personality disorder and suicidal thoughts. The method revolves around helping patients to build the confidence and coping abilities they need to properly handle stressful situations in a positive and non-destructive way. As you can imagine, this can be applied to a host of mental health conditions, including addiction.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

It has been found that patients who suffer from mental health conditions, emotional conditions or behavioral conditions are likely to experience intense emotional outbursts, resulting in them becoming more likely to engage in substance abuse as a form of self-medication. If you are experiencing addiction and trying to overcome addiction, dialectical behavior therapy can help to show you several important skills that will help you to better recognise and understand your emotions and, consequently, manage them in a healthier and more productive way. Some key skills that DBT may teach you include:

  • Mindfulness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Emotional regulation

These are all key skills that can have a huge impact on your recovery journey, helping you to ultimately stop turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism for managing your emotions.

The Key Components of DBT

When you undergo DBT, you’re likely to find yourself focusing on four key components. These are skills therapy, individual therapy, phone coaching and team consultation.

Skills Therapy

The first important element of DBT is skill therapy. This is a form of therapy where you will learn communication and coping skills that help you to actively manage your addiction. Some common skills that you will learn during this phase of your therapy can include practicing mindfulness, emotional regulation and distress tolerance. These can then be applied to your daily life to prevent relapse and promote sobriety.

Individual Therapy

Of course, learning the skills outlined above is one thing. You’re going to need to practice applying them to real life situations and scenarios. This is where individual therapy comes into play. This helps you to effectively work your newfound techniques into your daily life, overcoming genuine real-life situations that could usually pose a threat to your sobriety and recovery.

Phone Coaching

If you are experiencing in-patient care, you probably won’t engage with phone coaching, instead consulting your therapist as and when you need them, as they’ll be close at hand. However, if you’ve opted for partial hospitalization or an outpatient treatment plan, it can prove extremely useful. Phone coaching is when you will be able to call and contact your therapist while outside of hospitalized care for guidance and support when you face situations that are difficult or if you’re unsure how to apply the skills you’ve learned. They will be able to talk you through the situation and how to best react.

Team Consultation

Your therapist will go through routine team consultation, which helps them to understand how their treatment plan is going and what they can do to better provide you with the best care possible. They can benefit from the insight, thoughts and expertise of other therapists who are also trained in DBT.

Combined Treatments

Most people going through addiction recovery find that the best approach for them is to experience a range of different treatments and therapies together. When you start your journey with us, we’ll find the best approaches to suit you as an individual. Few people experience Dialectical Behavior Therapy in isolation. Instead, it complements a range of other approaches that work together to help you experience success. DBT is often paired with:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Contingency management therapy
  • Community reinforcement therapy

If you’re interested in learning more about Dialectical Behavior Therapy, or if you’d like to arrange a session, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team will be able to listen to you and provide you with the support and guidance you need to get your journey started out on the best path possible, whether that’s inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment or another personalized plan.

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