If you’re dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it may be difficult for you to break the problematic behaviors that led you to your current state. Dialectical behavior therapy can empower you to challenge the grasp that addiction has on our life. It provides you with the tools necessary to start healing and find a path toward addiction recovery.
What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy initially designed to help people with borderline personality disorder. It teaches you how to manage your emotions and deal with conflicts more effectively. Many therapists incorporate dialectical behavior therapy into a client’s addiction treatment program to help them learn problem-solving strategies. You can also learn how to accept what’s happened because of your addiction and face the damage you’ve caused.
There are four basic modules to dialectical behavior therapy:
- Mindfulness — You place yourself in a state where you feel present and aware of what’s going on in your environment. It’s about learning to examine your thoughts and what you’re feeling without judgment.
- Interpersonal effectiveness — You learn different strategies for interacting with other people, like being more assertive when necessary and how to talk about an issue without devolving into a deeper conflict.
- Distress tolerance — You practice dealing with emotions and stress and accepting reality around a situation. Techniques taught include soothing yourself, distracting yourself from negative thoughts, and learning different ways to make the current situation more bearable.
- Emotional regulation — You learn how to manage your emotions by identifying what you’re feeling at the moment. From there, you learn to identify the obstacles in your way, generate more positive thoughts and emotions, and apply different stress management techniques.
How Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Work?
Dialectical behavior therapy can happen in one-on-one sessions. The therapist makes sure you are emotionally stable before proceeding with treatment. Sessions usually start with your therapist encouraging you to explore issues you may have buried or experiences from your past that still affect you today. That gets you started on exploring what’s at the core of your addiction issues.
Once you start diving into more painful memories, the therapist shows you different techniques to help you deal with painful emotions without resorting to drug or alcohol abuse. It’s about getting to a point where you make progress that sticks once you return to the outside world.
Dialectical behavior therapy is helpful in clients who have trouble figuring out what’s real. It helps clients learn to sort out what’s happening versus what they perceive in their minds. You start seeing situations more clearly instead of filtering them through your perceptions and experiences. Clients learn to let go of black-and-white framing and start accepting the complexities of life.
What Are the Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy helps you learn to recognize behaviors and patterns that stop you from finding happiness outside of substance abuse. Other ways you can benefit from dialectical behavior therapy include:
- Learning to figure out what’s at the root of the thoughts and feelings you experience when you turn to substance abuse
- Learning what your triggers are and how to apply coping mechanisms to overcome cravings
- Identifying what leads you down a path of negative thinking that could cause you to relapse
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself and what drives your addiction
Benefit from Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Fort
Fort Behavioral Health in Texas can support you in your goal of overcoming your addiction. We offer various programs and treatments to help you overcome your substance abuse issues, including: