The acronym DBT stands for dialectical behavioral therapy. Professionals rely on the modality when working with clients who suffer from mood disorders. The process also works extremely well in a substance abuse recovery setting. At the heart of DBT is a change of thought and activity patterns.
Where Does DBT Come From?
It’s interesting to note that this therapy is relatively new. It dates back to the 1980s. That said, keep in mind that it’s not a newfangled fad that pop psychologists started to chase. Instead, its origins lie in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is an effective modality in the treatment of mental disorders.
How Does it Work?
Experts in the field of psychotherapy appreciate the fact that DBT works well for patients who initially have little drive. Although they know that change is necessary, they’re not yet quite on board with the work that it takes. In this therapy setting, the professional and the client work side by side in a collaborative way.
Mindfulness training gives individuals the tools to live in the moment and deal with emotions that come from current situations. This practice reduces anxiety that comes from (sometimes) irrational worries about the future. It also helps individuals who typically dwell on past occurrences to move forward.
Another aspect of the treatment is the ability to handle stressors. Examples might include job losses, diseases, and the deaths of friends or family members. Individuals learn to accept what is unavoidable and practice healthy self-care skills. This approach goes hand in hand with the ability to feel emotions as they crop up.
During a variety of sessions, the therapist and participants explore the “why” behind people’s actions. In the process, people struggling with substance abuse problems come to realize that change is a process. They also recognize that there are plenty of connections between thought patterns, undesirable actions, and better choices. Finding a balance becomes a new focus that deviates from previous thoughts of self-harm, drug-seeking behavior, and similar actions.
For this reason, DBT is an excellent solution for individuals dealing with anxiety, anger, and depression. The last skill revolves around the ability to cultivate interpersonal relationships that feature healthy patterns. Program participants learn how to solve problems, say no, and adapt their behaviors to situations. It’s easy to see how this therapy transfers easily to the treatment of a drug addiction.
DBT in a Rehab Setting
At The Hills Treatment Center, our therapists use this approach in various counseling situations to assist program participants as well as their families. Examples include:
- Family-based therapy helps clients deal with the most problematic relationships that create stressors
- Parent training lets individuals reestablish connections with adult children suffering from addiction
- Cravings management assists with relapse prevention after heroin, meth, alcohol, or cocaine rehab
- Dual diagnosis treatment makes it possible to deal with underlying psychological disorders
- Peer group formation, which is a necessity for successful relapse prevention
Since The Hills Treatment Center works with a broad range of clients, it makes sense to adopt multiple treatment techniques. Although many people struggling with addiction respond well to CBT, some do better with other options. Customization of each treatment protocol is the best choice for achieving the success clients want.