Many people with an addiction feel overwhelmed when they seek treatment. There are several types of drug abuse and addiction treatment, which makes the process confusing, too. Experts also have differing opinions about which therapies are the best. However, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is one treatment method that research backs as effective.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

DBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with modified and additional elements. The original intent of DBT was to treat borderline personality disorders. However, it has become effective at treating other mental health disorders. In particular, it’s a successful substance abuse treatment.

DBT Objectives

Dialectical behavior therapy has four main objectives that the therapists divide into stages for the patients. The first stage involves reducing dangerous, reckless behaviors. It focuses on building skills that improve relationships and how patients understand their emotions.

In the second stage, patients learn how to manage overwhelming feelings without using drugs as an escape. The third stage focuses on common and expected problems at home and work, as well as life goals. In the final stage, patients learn how to connect with the world around them to move toward happiness.

DBT Elements

Male Counselor explaining dialectical behavior therapy in session.Therapists control every aspect of DBT planning and progression. They establish and coordinate the four main elements of dialectical behavior therapy to achieve the above goals.

Skills training is one of these elements. Patients participate in groups to learn skills that change their negative behaviors. Therapists also assign homework for the patients to complete in between meetings. Each session usually lasts for two to three hours.

Personal therapy is another element that focuses on motivating patients to complete their treatment. Therapists also teach them how to apply the skills that they learn in group therapy to daily situations. These sessions typically last for one hour each.

Phone coaching is the third element of DBT. Patients can contact their therapists for live coaching any time that they face a tough situation. They can call their therapists outside of normal sessions, which can help them avoid relapse.

The fourth element, therapist consultation, is more for the therapists themselves than the patients. This consultation platform keeps therapists motivated to work with clients who are difficult to treat. It also gives them support to provide the best treatment possible.

DBT Skills

Teaching patients skills are at the core of dialectical behavior therapy. There are four primary skills that it addresses.

People have an urge to change or reduce distress when they experience it. Using drugs to accomplish that is an unhealthy method. Learning distress tolerance helps patients accept and endure distress rather than turn to drugs.

Working in tandem with distress tolerance, emotional regulation helps patients recognize unwanted feelings. Then it helps them find ways to change those feelings.

Drug abuse and addiction can cause communication problems. People who lack conflict resolution skills often experience even more problems. Learning these skills can improve their interactions and relationships with others.

Mindfulness is another skill at the core of dialectical behavior therapy. It’s the act of engaging and being aware of one’s surroundings. People with drug problems often spend a lot of time pondering the past and future and distracting themselves. Mindfulness immerses patients in the present.

Serenity House Detox Can Help You Build a Foundation for Recovery

It’s nearly impossible for people with drug problems to recover without building a foundation for treatment first. Serenity House Detox prepares clients for the therapy that follows detox. Our drug detox centers provide safe and secure services in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida.

Serenity House Detox helps people stop using many types of drugs. As such, some of its detox programs include:

We base each patient’s detox plan on his or her addiction history, emotional and medical state, and drug use. A 12-Step program incorporates evidence-based treatment methods such as individual and group therapy.

Don’t let drug abuse or addiction ruin your life more than it already has. Take your first step toward recovery, and build a foundation for rehab treatment at Serenity House Detox. Call us at 866-294-5306 to get started.