Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Addiction Recovery

Substance abuse significantly alters the brain chemicals and leads to behavioral changes that impact productivity. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration mentions that one in four adults with a mental health problem has substance use disorder. The severity of this condition demands that the right tools and strategies are employed to foster recovery. One of the most potent tools to navigate recovery is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). 

Dialectical behavior therapy in addiction recovery has become a popular treatment due to its unique approach. It’s a form of psychotherapy that deals with multiple mental health conditions and high-risk behaviors.

To learn more about how DBT can play a role in addiction recovery, contact our trusted drug rehab in New Jersey.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Explained

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an evidence-based approach that combats multiple emotional and psychological issues. Dr. Marsha Linehan developed it in the 1980s to treat substance abuse disorders and their associated mental health problems, such as suicide and borderline personality disorder. This treatment strategy is so effective that it is commonly deployed in the treatment of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and eating disorders.

DBT was developed based on CBT but differs from the latter in that DBT focuses on validation/acceptance and change. This is referred to as the synthesis of two opposites or dialectic, which aims to promote abstinence and reduce the severity of relapses. DBT’s dialectic approach balances the patient’s desire to overcome painful experiences with an effort to accept life’s inevitable pain. The aim is to find new meanings in the opposites and help patients uncover any connection. The ultimate objective of this therapy is to help patients live more purposely and fulfilling lives. When DBT is successful, patients can envision, chase, and sustain goals.

 DBT does the following:

  • Helps individuals get motivated to change,
  • Improves patient’s capabilities,
  • It generalized new behaviors
  • Creates a supportive structure or environment to facilitate recovery

DBT Approaches

DBT in addiction recovery is a multidimensional therapy that uses various techniques to change unhealthy behaviors. One of the approaches of DBT is teaching mindfulness skills, which teaches individuals to dwell in the present and acknowledge their thoughts, feelings, and the environment instead of meditating on the past. In addiction recovery, this technique helps patients have an increased consciousness of their cravings and triggers. By mastering the art of observation and awareness, individuals can slow their thoughts and focus on what’s happening inside and around them. This consciousness is powerful for managing the compulsive urge to use.

Another approach is emotional regulation. Most substance abuse stems from trying to cope with stressful or traumatic situations. Through DBT, patients can comprehend, accept, and regulate their emotions. By managing these feelings healthily, individuals can rely less on substances to cope with feelings.

Interpersonal effectiveness is the third approach. Many individuals in addiction recovery struggle with maintaining relationships. DBT can help address interpersonal relationships through interpersonal effectiveness. It allows patients to repair and build healthier relationships that will foster their recovery. In turn, it will help end destructive ones. DBT teaches individuals to communicate effectively, be assertive in setting boundaries, and resolve conflicts.

The last approach is distress tolerance. This technique teaches patients to accept negative emotions in distress or crisis and develop ways to cope with these intense feelings while maintaining a cheerful look.

DBT Treatment Modes

DBT is typically delivered in these four modes:

  • Individual therapy: In this one-on-one therapy, individuals learn to utilize the skills they’ve learned in real-life circumstances or situations. 
  • Group Skills Training: Group therapy helps reinforce positive behaviors. Individuals learn new coping skills and practice them actively within the environment. Outside the group training, the individual sets up an environment that will benefit their success.
  • Phone Coaching: Patients can contact their therapist for support when a problematic situation arises while sessions are still ongoing.

Benefits of DBT in Addiction Recovery

DBT treatment has helped many individuals find peace and healing following a tumultuous period of addiction. The profound impact of this therapeutic approach has been applauded by many individuals and therapists alike. Here are other benefits of DBT:

  • Reduced physical discomfort found when undergoing withdrawal
  • Less cravings and reliance on substances
  • Helping individuals set healthy boundaries
  • Curb behaviors that contribute to substance abuse
  • Foster interpersonal relationships through supportive environments

Finding DBT Treatment: Choose Excel Treatment Center Today!

Therapists who offer DBT in addiction recovery are specially trained to provide such services. At Excel Treatment Center, our therapists are certified and experienced. They help evaluate substance abuse symptoms and medical history to determine if DBT is appropriate. If you need clarification on whether it is DBT you want or more information about it, contact the helpline at (833) 883-9235. Let us help you get the treatment you deserve at our New Jersey addiction treatment center.

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