Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Substance Abuse

If you have an alcohol or drug addiction, you are probably wondering what you should do to overcome the problem and get your life back on track. Many people try a range of treatments, and they may begin to feel that it’s impossible to get past addiction for good. Fortunately, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for substance abuse can help individuals overcome substance dependence. This type of therapy takes a close look at the thoughts, behaviors, and feelings of those working to end substance use disorders in their lives.

Dialectical behavior therapy looks at the root of a person’s substance abuse and explores what caused it in the first place. It then explores the individual’s harmful behavioral patterns and finds the best way to change them. Here at Harmony Place, we offer dialectical behavior therapy to help our patients break free from substance abuse. Our California addiction treatment facility provides a safe space for people to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

dbt for substance abuse

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy was developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan in the 1970s. Originally, this therapeutic approach was meant to help people who were suffering from suicidal ideation. Dr. Linehan studied and researched literature about depression, anxiety disorders, and other mental health conditions to develop a therapy that could help people dealing with various mental health symptoms.

Eventually, dialectical behavior therapy became a well-known treatment method for borderline personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder is a mental health disorder that affects the way people think, behave, and function. Many people who suffer from borderline personality disorder experience a severe fear of being alone or abandoned. They may have difficulty with emotional regulation and have a negative self-image.

This therapy method certainly works to help treat those who are living with this particular mental health challenge. But, it is also quite effective when it comes to addiction treatment.

DBT for substance abuse is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). While CBT focuses on identifying and replacing negative cognitive patterns, dialectical behavior therapy works to encourage acceptance and problem-solving ideology in its patients. Individuals who suffer from addiction often struggle to address their behaviors and understand how some of them can be harmful. But, DBT for addiction works to both identify and change those ways of thinking.

This type of therapy has proven to be effective for those who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders, eating disorders, self-harm, and suicidal behavior and ideation. Dialectical behavior therapy works to pinpoint and change dangerous behaviors that are tied to mental and behavioral health challenges. Additionally, DBT can help in the treatment of substance use disorders.

Understanding the Effects of Addiction and the Need for Therapy

Addiction usually starts small for most people. Most individuals simply don’t see it coming. They may be spending time with friends when someone gets them to try drugs or alcohol for the first time. Once they do, they don’t think much of it. Some individuals view it as something fun they will do once and never try again. Many of them do it because their friends are using drugs or alcohol.

After a while, a person may decide to try drugs again. It gets harder and harder to stop each time they use these substances. Before they know it, the individual’s drug or alcohol abuse is out of control and adverse consequences begin to settle in.

Substance use disorders often cause negative consequences in various areas of people’s lives. It can lead to job loss, broken relationships, physical health problems, mental health challenges, and so much more. Many successful people end up with nothing after alcohol or drug addiction takes its toll. 

Substance use disorder typically leaves individuals feeling hopeless and alone. Eventually, those who use or abuse alcohol or drugs may find themselves unable to function without these substances. They may not be able to focus on anything else in their lives. This only leads to life-long problems and challenges.

This is why it is vitally important for individuals to seek professional treatment for substance abuse. While in rehab, people can benefit from therapeutic approaches, including DBT for substance use disorder.

DBT Helps to Identify Problems More Clearly

During a dialectical behavior therapy session, therapists and patients can discover and explore the underlying causes of addiction. They can uncover the harmful behaviors, thought patterns, and beliefs that contributed to the development of the individual’s substance use disorder.

In some cases, people have undiagnosed mental health disorders and turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the emotional distress that they feel. This can lead to co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders. As a result, individuals may not know how to properly cope with the symptoms that they’re experiencing. 

Fortunately, dialectical behavior therapy can help individuals to get to the root causes of their addiction. DBT treatment helps individuals to develop healthy coping skills as they work to overcome substance addiction. Also, this therapeutic approach assists therapists with this process and helps individuals to better assess their situations.

How DBT for Addiction Helps Those in Treatment

Dialectical behavior therapy for substance abuse can help individuals in various ways. It introduces mindfulness, thought monitoring, emotion regulation, and more. DBT also helps individuals to properly address stress and triggers. This equips people with the skills that they need as they prepare for life outside of treatment.

Mindfulness is an important part of your recovery process. Most people go through life without thinking about their thoughts and actions. They react to different situations without asking themselves why they do so, but that is not always the best approach. Therapy can help individuals to practice mindfulness and become more comfortable with analyzing their thoughts and feelings.

Monitoring your thoughts is an important part of the process. Some people believe monitoring thoughts is the same as being mindful, but this is not the case. Mindfulness is more like meditation, but you can monitor your thoughts all the time. When you feel like using alcohol or drugs, explore your thoughts and ask yourself where they came from. You can use this process to identify and address problematic or harmful thinking.

Learning to regulate your emotions is another great move in the right direction. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol when they get emotional. If you feel strong emotions, pay attention to them so that you don’t end up using drugs again. Also, find out what triggers your emotions so that you can reduce the risk of relapse.

Increasing distress tolerance is a vital part of the equation. Many people do well in treatment and begin getting their lives back on track, but stress often compels us to go back to old habits if we are not careful. Learning how to manage stress is a smart move in the right direction. Being able to tolerate distress reduces the likelihood of relapse. Dialectical behavior therapy can help people to find healthy ways to manage stress and remain on the right track.

Motivation enhancement therapy is another positive step in the right direction. It can be extremely difficult to overcome substance abuse. Many people make it a long way and then relapse, which causes discouragement. Becoming discouraged is a pitfall that makes it even harder to remain motivated, and individuals tend to lose momentum when that happens. The way people approach this situation impacts their long-term goals. If a person does not maintain motivation, relapse can occur.

Motivation enhancement therapy explores why a person’s motivation is dropping and gets it back on track. This approach helps people to learn to look at their long-term objectives. Also, individuals in therapy can learn to focus on the benefits of staying on the right path.

As is the case with many other forms of substance abuse therapy, DBT helps people to develop healthy communication skills. It can be difficult to maintain healthy communication when suffering from addiction. Many individuals who suffer from addiction find themselves struggling to maintain relationships with family members, friends, coworkers, and other individuals due to a lack of communication. Substance use has a way of stripping this ability from people.

Thankfully, individuals can develop healthier ways of speaking with others, communicating with those around them, and expressing themselves. Not only is communication essential outside of treatment, but it’s also a necessity in therapy. Patients must be able to express their experiences with their therapists in order to receive the help that they need. Although this may be a challenge at first, therapy can help to make this process much easier.

No matter your situation, getting your life back on track after addiction treatment won’t always be an easy task. Improve your situation and set short- and long-term goals. Take an honest look at your life and decide what you need to improve, and the rest becomes much easier.

When you want to get your life back on track, short-term goals are a good start. They show you that you can make progress, helping you move toward your long-term goals. Your long-term goals are important because they rebuild your life and prevent you from going back.

Other Therapy Approaches at Harmony Place

Dialectical behavior therapy can be an extremely effective counseling approach for those who are suffering from addiction. Through dialectical behavior therapy, recovering individuals can find healing, develop healthy coping skills, address co-occurring mental health conditions, and overcome addictive behaviors. But, there are many other types of therapy that can help make addiction treatment more effective.

Some of the other kinds of therapy that can help individuals who are recovering from substance abuse might include:

Both individual therapy and group counseling can help those who are striving to overcome substance misuse.

Individual therapy sessions provide a setting for people to discuss their challenges and struggles with a therapist, one-on-one. It allows individuals to discover and address any self-destructive behaviors that might be contributing to addiction. Individual therapy can also help promote emotional regulation and prevent reckless and dangerous behaviors that often accompany the stress that comes with withdrawal and recovery.

Group therapy allows individuals to communicate and learn from others who are also in addiction recovery. Counseling that takes place in a group setting promotes a sense of community, teamwork, and interpersonal effectiveness. Those who engage in group therapy can benefit from group skills training and the further development of behavioral skills

Let Harmony Place Help You Overcome Addiction Today

If you are looking for addiction treatment centers in California, you may feel overwhelmed. Finding the best addiction and mental health treatment can be challenging. But, when it comes to locating treatment centers that have your needs in mind from start to finish, you don’t have to struggle.

Recovery is only a phone call away; we can help you fight addiction here at Harmony Place! We stand by you each step of the way and ensure you make it through your recovery journey without too many unnecessary problems. We offer a range of services to make sure you receive a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs:

Our treatment options have everything you need to stay on track and keep you moving in the right direction, and you will be thrilled to discover the outcome. We want you to have the best possible experience from start to finish, and you will know you are moving in the right direction. Your substance abuse issue can end with a little help from our professional team!

Harmony Place is an addiction treatment center that cares about you. Our treatment center employs some of the top professionals in the rehab industry to make sure you receive the help that you need. We treat you like a person and make sure you get the care that you deserve. 

We believe you can end drug or alcohol addiction in your life. If you want help on which you can depend, contact us today. Let us help you through our addiction treatment programs today!

0/5 (0 Reviews)