Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is effective for many types of mental health disorders. It's especially effective for disorders that deal with intense emotions, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it's also very effective for addiction and is used as part of a treatment plan at Pathways Wellness Center.
This is because dialectical behavior therapy helps clients recognize unhealthy thoughts and behaviors that often lead to substance abuse. Once someone can recognize and change these behaviors, it helps them learn that they don't need substances to cope with their troubles.
It can be a little intimidating at first when first told about dialectical behavior therapy. It's not fun to confront the behaviors and feelings that cause you physical and emotional harm. Many might even object to receiving dialectical behavior therapy because they don't want to feel as though they are a failure. There is no reason to worry, as those in dialectical behavior therapy go at the pace that is most comfortable for them. Getting therapy isn't just having someone talk to you. It's a collaborative effort between clients and mental health care professionals to give the highest quality care possible. This type of therapy is also used to reassure clients that they aren't bad people, just people who need help.
Achieving recovery is the end goal of addiction treatment, and dialectical behavior therapy can help someone reach that goal.
Dialectical behavior therapy is so effective at treating addiction because it helps someone become a more confident, healthier person. A person is healthy when they can effectively cope with stress and pain without resorting to unhealthy coping skills. When people develop an addiction, it's usually because they were using drugs or substances to cope with difficulties. These difficulties can stem from a co-occurring mental health disorder or stress, but they can come from other causes as well, such as trauma. With dialectical behavior therapy, someone can recognize the circumstances behind their addiction and work to change them.
Dialectical behavior therapy is also about regulating emotions and learning how to communicate effectively. Sometimes people will cope with their feelings of anger or pain by engaging in substance use. Those who have difficulties communicating often become isolated without a support network. Support networks are a vital part of recovery, so those in dialectical behavior therapy spend time learning how to build healthy ones.
It's also learning how to say no and stand up for yourself when it comes to peer pressure. This is important once someone finishes treatment and goes back into society, where substance use is sometimes glorified or encouraged. Usually, it's for alcohol or tobacco use, but peer pressure plays a large factor in the consumption of “party drugs" and other illicit substances.
Although someone can recover from addiction, the lingering effects can follow someone for the rest of their life. Once someone has recovered, they must be aware of the possibility of a relapse. It can be hard to make changes in your life to remain sober. Sometimes a person may even have to cut toxic friends and family out of their lives. Making these life changes becomes easier with the use of dialectical behavior therapy, as it helps clients accept that their lives will need to change for the better.
Learning that you still matter and are important is another factor of dialectical behavior therapy. Knowing that you deserve to be loved and cared for gives people the strength they need to remain in recovery.
Think of dialectical behavior therapy as a tool kit. It's always helpful to have a varied tool kit as an essential part of your home. When something needs repair, it makes it easy to get the tool you need and fix it. However, it's hard to make precise repairs when all you have in your toolbox is a hammer. Some people may not even have a toolbox at all and become distressed when they don't know what to do next.
Getting dialectical behavior therapy is giving someone a wide variety of tools and skills needed to navigate problems in their life. If you have trouble focusing on the here and now, dialectical behavior therapy can teach you mindfulness techniques. Those struggling to regulate their emotions can learn to use them productively and healthily. Someone who can't say no to peer pressure will learn how to stand up for themselves. Many coping skills can be learned, all of which play an important part in living a healthy life.
Those without these healthy coping skills might be tempted to solve their problems in the only way they know how. That usually is what becomes a substance use disorder (SUD) or addiction. By receiving dialectical behavior therapy, those struggling with addiction can learn that they don't need substances to feel better. They can build a support network of people who love and care about them. Those who utilize dialectical behavior therapy also learn how to ask for help, which is important even after treatment is completed. Knowing when and where to go back for help can make the difference between staying in recovery and relapse.
This is why Pathways Wellness Center uses dialectical behavior therapy as a part of addiction treatment. Not only is it effective at helping people recover from addiction, but it also helps people stay in recovery. Anyone can achieve recovery with the right amount of time, personal work, and quality treatment.
Dialectical behavior therapy is an important part of any addiction treatment plan. When someone uses dialectical behavior therapy, it teaches them the skills they need to stop harmful behaviors and cope in healthier ways. Here at Pathways Wellness Center in Glendora, California, we use dialectical behavior therapy to help our clients recognize the behaviors of addiction. These behaviors are unhealthy and can be difficult to stop. With the right therapy and support, our clients then learn how to change these behaviors into something healthier. Afterward comes recovery. If you or someone you love requires help for addiction and its co-occurring mental health disorders, don't wait. Call us today at (888) 771-0966.