DIALECTICAL BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (DBT)
An evidence-based psychotherapy initially developed by psychology professor and author Marsha Linehan to assist in treating patients with personality disorders.
DBT identifies irrational thought patterns and refocuses them to develop healthier ways to interact with the world. Patients may have developed these behaviors as coping mechanisms. They may not have built healthier emotional skills due to neglect or abuse during their formative years.
Patients are often resistant to other forms of treatment, sometimes growing resentful of the process for the very reasons they sought assistance in the first place. DBT has subsequently proved to be effective in treating alcoholism and substance abuse disorders and has gained popularity as a part of many addiction treatment programs.
HOW DOES DBT WORK?
DBT works to change a patient’s self-image and their view of the world using several key principles. These include:
- CORE MINDFULNESS: Based on Eastern meditation techniques. Patients develop an awareness of the present moment and focus objectively on themselves and the people around them. They learn to remove their irrational negative biases from situations, and respond in a healthy, positive way.
- INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS: Helps to develop communication and interpersonal skills beneficial in creating healthy relationships with others and oneself. Learn to constructively work through conflict and positively express feelings or needs leads to empowerment and a more healthy sense of self.
- DISTRESS TOLERANCE: Learn to cope with difficult situations without resorting to previously dysfunctional thinking. Helps patients stop themselves from reacting impulsively or resorting to self-harming behavior. Begin to understand that, there are some things that cannot be controlled.
- EMOTION REGULATION: Therapists assist patients to identify and label emotions without judging feelings. Allows a person to understand how emotions influence behavior, recognize things stopping them from managing themselves, and respond better to unsettling events.
IMPLEMENTING DBT FOR ADDICTION
Using both one-on-one and sometimes group therapy, DBT emphasizes the partnership between the counselor, the patient, and those closest to them to help them form new ways of dealing with the world. Changing attitudes and expectations ultimately leads to a change in behavior away from old habits of self-harm, including substance abuse.
Proactive new strategies include:
Learn to recognize and move toward healthy environments and social circles
Removing triggers and negative influences from their lives
Find new ways to boost self-image and focus on sobriety, even under pressure
Psyclarity Health Massachusetts provides patient-centric programs incorporating a number of treatment modalities, including DBT, as part of its addiction therapy. Following successful completion of Acute Treatment Services to eliminate the physical effects of substance abuse, psychologists and counselors are able to concentrate on the psychological issues at the root of the problem. Clinical Stabilization Services provide various programs to support its psychotherapeutic treatments. These are designed to teach coping skills, relaxation techniques, good health practices, and offer spiritual guidance, such as:
Stress Management Techniques
Relapse Prevention Training
DBT techniques can also be integrated with activities such as:
- Art Therapy
PREPARATION FOR THE ROAD AHEAD
In addition to reinforcing new coping strategies, in many cases, new activities expose patients to different situations in which they may discover hidden depths of strength and resilience. Psyclarity Health’s qualified team of caring healthcare practitioners includes doctors, nurses, psychologists, and counselors who are skilled at guiding patients toward experiences that will affirm their newfound belief in themselves. These new beliefs are further reinforced by ongoing patient care and group therapy after leaving inpatient care.
The road to sobriety is not an easy one, but with a fresh perspective on the world, and the tools to handle challenges, DBT can provide a better foundation for a fulfilling, healthy life. At Psyclarity Health MA, we provide specialized treatment programs for those battling addiction and co-occurring disorders. In addition to DBT, we offer a wide range of treatment therapies designed to address all aspects of the disorder.