In the depths of addiction, alcohol and drug use can become an overwhelming force in a person’s life. It can impact mood, behavior, and harm close relationships with friends and loved ones. For many people, trying to control the feelings of guilt, anger, and shame that often arise with these difficulties can feel like an impossible task.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is one type of addiction therapy that can be useful for digging into how a person’s thoughts and emotions impact their behaviors, such as those related to a person’s drug or alcohol use. Understanding this connection can help patients stay on the right track and teach valuable life skills patients can use in their personal, work, and social lives.
For dialectical behavior therapy in Ohio, rely on The Bluffs. We provide dialectical behavior therapy treatment in Ohio for people ready to heal from the mental and emotional impact of addiction. If you or someone you care about might benefit from dialectical behavior therapy in Ohio, reach out to The Bluffs today by calling 850-374-5331 or filling out our online form.
What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy is a form of psychotherapy that was initially developed to treat suicidal thoughts and behaviors in people with a borderline personality disorder. It has since been adapted to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including substance use disorders (SUDs). Similar in nature to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a core aspect of DBT is exploring the connection between a person’s thoughts, emotions, and how that influences their behavior.
However, unlike CBT, dialectical behavior therapy focuses on balancing acceptance and change. Acceptance, in this context, refers mainly to accepting complex thoughts or emotions you’re having rather than trying to reframe or replace them with more positive counterparts. This step of acceptance in DBT can promote greater self-awareness and provide a more realistic framework for going on to change a person’s unhealthy or harmful patterns.
The Framework of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
The framework of DBT contains five essential functions, which are:
- Motivation – Increasing a patient’s motivation for engaging in treatment and staying in recovery outside of a structured rehab setting is a key component of DBT.
- Enhancing capabilities – DBT services help patients recognize how their skills and capabilities can be used to foster a balanced and mindful future without addiction.
- Skill-building – Finding useful coping strategies to manage triggers can be integral to positive change and outcomes. Teaching life skills that are grounded in mindfulness practice and acceptance is also useful.
- Structured environment – In DBT, it is crucial to create an environment that can best facilitate mental and emotional healing in a patient recovering from substance use. This can be achieved through building a collaborative relationship between patient and therapist and removing harmful influences that could impede a person’s recovery or success in treatment.
- Enhancing therapist capabilities – Therapists who practice DBT actively work to stay up-to-date on DBT techniques and continue strengthening their capabilities as a therapist to effectively support and promote positive change in patients.
Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy
As a type of therapy that was pointedly designed to target dangerous and out-of-control behaviors, DBT offers a focused approach for helping people with a history of substance use stay sober and manage triggering situations in their recovery.
Several benefits of DBT for overcoming addiction include:
- Validates for the emotional difficulties a person experiences without losing sight of the broader goal of adopting healthier coping skills and behaviors
- Identifies potential influences or barriers that could hinder a person’s progress in their treatment
- Prioritizes the safety of patients who are experiencing significant emotional or psychological distress
- Reinforces the adoption of healthy boundaries and fosters positive relationships with others
- Teaches mindfulness skills that can be used for stress management during difficult or triggering situations