What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy can be credited to Marsha M. Linehan, Ph.D., ABPP, who invented DBT by reading treatment manuals, researching, and finalizing this new concept in therapy. When was DBT developed? In the 1970s, when Dr. Linehan set forth to incorporate mindfulness into the therapeutic practice after experiencing her own mental illness.
DBT is a modified version of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) designed to help people stop being stuck in their past or paralyzed by fear of the future. DBT helps people become mindful of all aspects of what’s currently happening, including events, emotions, and thoughts. This allows them to replace unhealthy coping skills with new ones that are more productive and realistic. As a result, many people find themselves more capable of engaging in positive social interactions with others.
Many treatment programs include a DBT drug addiction option for those who need help overcoming substance abuse.
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What Does DBT Therapy Treat in Los Angeles?
Therapists originally began to use DBT to treat patients with borderline personality disorder. This type of mental illness causes a person to have great difficulty regulating their emotions. It has since become a popular therapeutic modality for treating other mental health disorders, including the following:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
As well, our Los Angeles, DBT drug addiction treatment can help someone who has entered recovery for a substance use disorder. This can prove important for people who deal with both mental health disorders and addiction. Participating in dialectical behavior therapy therapy can help improve both diseases, giving the person an elevated ability to heal.
How DBT Helps With Overcoming Drug Addiction
Someone who abuses drugs or alcohol doesn’t just need help to quit using or drinking. They excel in their ability to recover by learning how to address their impulses and behavioral choices. DBT can work well for people who engage in dangerous behaviors such as abusing substances. Someone who is in recovery often finds their resolve tested when a difficult emotion or situation arises. They become accustomed to automatically turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.
DBT drug addiction therapy offers a new way to react. The individual becomes aware of a more balanced view of their feelings and the power they have to make smart choices. They can process their emotions and experiences in a positive way, which makes them much less likely to relapse.
Common Skills Learned from DBT
DBT aims to teach each person four specific skills. For someone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, each skill comes into play to help them learn to stay sober for life. The four skills are as follows:
Mindfulness: The person learns to live in the present moment. They learn to see the big picture when something is going on. This includes seeing what is happening and being able to describe it in an accurate, neutral manner. The individual becomes adept at learning to avoid negative self-talk and make healthy choices for how to act in a way that supports their goals.
Distress Tolerance: This skill allows the person to avoid a knee-jerk reaction of being unable to handle distress. When something painful happens, the person recognizes that they can handle the situation without falling apart or turning to drugs or alcohol. Grounding techniques are taught that help a person accept a situation and deal with it with a level head.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: The person learns to sustain and enjoy more satisfying interactions with other people. They learn to establish healthy boundaries and respect those that other people set.
Emotional Regulation: This skill helps a person identify and control their emotions in a productive manner. This includes giving themselves a reality check and accepting their emotions without allowing them to spiral out of control. Part of this can include doing the opposite of what they might normally do. For example, if the person feels the urge to isolate, they should leave the house and engage in a social activity.
Begin DBT for Drug Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles, CA
Have you decided you want to tackle your addiction once and for all? If so, you want the best, most effective treatment available. Renewal Health Group provides world-class treatment for substance use disorders designed to help you enjoy a life of sobriety. We include DBT drug addiction therapy as part of a well-rounded program of therapy options. Using DBT can make the difference between a daily struggle to stay sober and being able to avoid the temptation to relapse.
For more information about our addiction program, please visit our admissions page today. We can answer your questions and help you make the right choice for regaining control over your life.