Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

In individual and group settings, this treatment has proven beneficial for treating mood disorders and suicidal ideation, and for changing risky behavioral patterns such as self-harm, eating disorders and substance use.

What Is DBT?

Dialectical behavioral therapy is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that evolved from efforts to treat personality disorders and interpersonal conflicts. DBT is an offshoot of cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people recognize intensely negative emotions and transform them into positive thoughts and feelings. The word dialectical relates to the ability to hold conflicting viewpoints at once. DBT focuses on the concept that people struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues must harness the power of change and acceptance to heal.

A DBT therapist will work with you to uncover the root causes of your substance use disorder and equip you with coping skills to manage your illness and prevent a relapse.

Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Addiction Treatment

DBT can be a valuable component of addiction treatment because it addresses unhelpful beliefs that represent a barrier to making a positive change.

While participating in DBT, you will focus on how substance use detracts from your quality of life, while simultaneously:

  • Alleviating physical discomfort associated with withdrawal
  • Avoiding triggers and cues related to drugs and alcohol
  • Reinforcing healthy behavior
  • Reducing cravings

What Can DBT Teach You?

Often, drinking and drug use begin as a misguided coping mechanism for dealing with depression, anxiety or other issues. DBT is beneficial for treating addiction because of its unique approach to health and wellness.

Successful use of dialectical behavior therapy will allow you to envision, articulate, pursue and sustain new goals that are separate from your history of mental illness or substance abuse. By focusing on facts instead of feelings, DBT will teach you to leave challenges behind you.

You can expect to learn skills like these in DBT.

  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness exercises like meditation teach DBT participants how to absorb, observe and process what is happening to them in the moment.
  • Distress tolerance: Resilience tactics include temporary distraction, self-soothing, relaxation and, ultimately, acceptance.
  • Emotional regulation: In this stage of DBT, you can learn to pinpoint the source of an intense emotion and respond to it logically and appropriately.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: DBT will teach you how to confidently navigate social encounters. This portion of therapy focuses on interactions where the goal is to gain the other person’s respect.
Adding DBT to Your Personalized Treatment Plan

The ability to concentrate on improving your emotional wellness is one of the benefits of participating in an inpatient treatment program. At Cumberland Heights, our addiction and mental health specialists provide evidence-based therapies such as dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care and 12-step facilitation. To learn more about our accredited, comprehensive rehab in Middle Tennessee, please reach out to us today.