There are so many different types of therapy for substance dependence. This is a positive thing because every case of addiction is different. Having a vast amount of options for treatment means that everyone can find something that works for them. When you think of therapy and treatment for addiction, you may think of group therapy or 12-step programs. Those have definitely proven to be helpful approaches. There are several other types of drug addiction therapy that can help people who are struggling with addiction. One approach is dialectical behavioral therapy.
What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?
This kind of alcohol and drug addiction therapy is a cognitive approach to treating addiction. It’s also known as DBT and it includes both individual and group therapy sessions. DBT is used to treat things besides alcohol or drugs. In fact, it was first used for treating borderline personality disorder. DBT can also help people who suffer from other disorders, such as: eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT seeks to help clients discover harmful thinking patterns and thought processes. These negative mental activities are usually what cause substance dependence to continue. So, uncovering them can help people to reverse them. This, in turn, will give them more insight on how to avoid relapsing.
How Does This Drug Addiction Therapy Work?
When it is used to treat those who struggle with drug or alcohol dependence or addiction, DBT does several things. It addresses four different areas of the individual. Dialectical behavioral therapy focuses on training the client in these skill areas, making them more aware of how they do and should respond to things. The four key skill areas this therapy focuses on are mindfulness, tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Mindfulness: As this skill improves, the individual becomes more aware and accepting of what’s going on at the moment. It encourages clients to pay more attention to and experience the present.
Tolerance: This skill is meant to help people handle distress in a healthier way. As the client develops this skill, he or she will build tolerance for negative emotions. Distress tolerance is the ability to deal with what causes distress rather than attempt to escape the negative feelings.
Emotion Regulation: When people develop skills in this area, they can literally change the way things make them feel. This skill enables clients to find ways to gain control over their emotions, especially harmful or negative ones.
Interpersonal Effectiveness: This is a very important skill for those who have struggled with substance abuse or other disorders. When people are interpersonally effective, they are able to communicate with others in a healthy way. They can express their needs or feelings without weakening their relationships with others. This skill allows individuals to communicate assertively while showing respect for themselves and others.
As the client grows in these areas, he or she will also have individual alcohol or drug addiction therapy sessions with a specialist. During these meetings, the therapist may help the person to use their new skills. They may show them how to exercise the skills in daily life activities and situations. In group therapy sessions, the clients may be able to work more on their interpersonal effectiveness and other social strategies.
Think DBT Might Work For You?
Now that you know a little more about dialectical behavior therapy, do you think it might work for you or someone you know? If so, then don’t wait any longer. Here at Willow Place For Women, we provide this kind of alcohol and drug addiction therapy. We know that our clients all have varying needs. So, we offer different approaches to treatment. If you or another woman you know needs help overcoming addiction or another disorder, contact us today.