What Is DBT?

Dialectical behavior therapy is a treatment method designed specifically for individuals with self-harm behaviors, such as self-cutting, suicidal thoughts, urges to suicide and suicide attempts. Many clients with this behavior meet the criteria for borderline personality disorder (BPD). It’s not unusual for individuals diagnosed with BPD to struggle with other problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, eating disorders or substance abuse problems (referred to as a dual diagnosis disorder). Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a modification of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Ranch Creek Recovery’s holistic, non-12-step approach to substance abuse treatment allows us to employ several effective methods for treating addiction outside the typical therapy methods used in traditional rehab centers. One example of this is DBT.

“Ranch Creek was a great experience for me. All the staff were wonderful and very open and helpful. I feel like I have foundation and tools to move forward with my sobriety.”

– Julie

Navigating Payment and Insurance

We accept various insurance plans, including Aetna, Anthem BlueCross, Cigna, and more. Our team will help you verify your coverage and understand your out-of-pocket costs, making the financial aspect of treatment as stress-free as possible. We are committed to helping you access the care you need in our substance abuse inpatient programs.

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How DBT Aids in Substance Abuse Treatment

Dialectical behavior therapy, and mindfulness in general, work to help people stay in the moment because leaving your present can have unforeseen consequences on your ability to make wise choices and operate effectively. The intersection of this perspective and the connectedness we feel with ourselves and others can help make DBT an integral part of a residential treatment program.

How We Use DBT in Our Addiction Recovery Programs

The most crucial goal of DBT is helping clients create “lives worth living.” For some individuals, a life worth living is getting married and having kids. For others, it’s finishing school and finding a life partner. Others might find it’s a spiritual group.

While all these goals will differ, all individuals have in common the task of bringing problem behaviors — especially behaviors that could result in death — under control. For this reason, DBT organizes treatment into four stages with targets: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT Therapies and Techniques

Several methods target dialectical behaviors, including skills training, individual therapy sessions, phone coaching, working with the team consultation team and homework assignments. Each of these is discussed in more depth below, including how they relate to overcoming substance use disorders.

Skills Training

In dialectical behavior therapy, skills training teaches essential things like emotional regulation that people can apply to their daily lives. Programs vary, but most skills training sessions are a few hours long and continue for a few months to ensure attendees can master each skill.

Individual Therapy Sessions

Individual therapy sessions take the skills training and help people apply it to real-life situations. This part of dialectical behavior therapy is highly personalized, as a therapist helps those with substance use disorders apply them based on their situations, personalities and future desires.

Phone Coaching

An essential part of dialectical behavior therapy is the direct support provided in challenging times. This support is given through phone coaching, where a therapist will coach someone in the moment using emotional regulation and distress tolerance techniques.

Team Consultation

Team consultation focuses on substance abuse professionals to help them stay motivated to continue providing the best possible care to each patient.

Homework Assignments

These assignments are part of DBT and are designed to help the person practice what they’ve learned in skills training in their everyday life. For example, a homework assignment may be to write down every time they experience an unhealthy urge or strong emotion.

Pairing DBT With Other Treatments

Dialectical behavior therapy works best with other substance use disorder treatments. Many addiction centers use DBT therapy as part of a greater recovery program for the most effective treatment results.

Residential Inpatient Treatment

During residential inpatient treatment, those struggling with addiction stay at our comfortable recovery center for 30, 60 or 90 days. Inpatient treatment is generally considered the best first step for people trying to overcome a substance use disorder because it allows them to focus solely on recovery without any outside stressors. During your stay at Ranch Creek Recovery, you’ll be overseen by medical professionals and caring staff to ensure your visit is safe, effective and comfortable.

While at residential treatment centers, you’ll be tested for mental health conditions that may have led you to develop substance use disorders. If it’s determined you have a mental health condition (such as borderline personality disorder, PTSD, depression or anxiety disorders), you’ll be given options to help manage symptoms. You may also attend various holistic therapies and CBT sessions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy is a type of talk therapy that’s been one of the foundations of mental health and substance abuse treatments for some time. CBT is one of the few forms of psychotherapy that’s been scientifically researched and proven to be an effective treatment option for several disorders.

The premise behind CBT is simple. Talk therapy sessions address negative emotions and thoughts so people can change their outlook on life and stressful situations. This is useful for people with mental health conditions or substance abuse disorders, as it addresses the underlying negative emotions that worsen symptoms.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic addiction treatment provides a “whole self” approach to substance abuse problems that target the body, mind and spirit. By creating a greater awareness of self, people can heal more effectively.

Combining dialectical behavior therapy with holistic options has proven to be highly effective. Using holistic treatment options, you gain greater self-awareness. Then, using DBT, you can build healthy behaviors and coping skills that enhance your healing journey and improve the success rate of remaining sober long-term.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we utilize multiple holistic therapy options.

  • Equine-assisted therapy: Uses horses to create a calm and understanding experience and for emotional support and companionship
  • Fitness: Combination of nutritional and exercise programs that helps the body achieve greater healing
  • Amino acid therapy: Addresses the imbalance caused by addiction by supplementing serotonin
  • Yoga: Uses movements, breathing and mindfulness that heal your body, mind and spirit all at once
  • Guided meditation: An experiential therapy closely related to yoga that promotes greater self-awareness, self-acceptance and positivity
  • Sound healing therapy: Uses the sound and vibrations of a gong to help achieve sobriety by building serenity and aiding in positive recovery techniques

Help Is Available at Ranch Creek Recovery

Call Ranch Creek Recovery to learn more about how DBT can help enhance your addiction recovery process. Ranch Creek Recovery takes a holistic approach to treating drug and alcohol addiction through our detox, residential (or inpatient) rehab and outpatient treatment programs. The treatment center is on a private estate, offering intimate treatment settings. Most private insurance is accepted, and the admissions team will provide a free insurance check and confidential telephone assessment to determine the best recommendations for your unique needs. Contact us to verify your insurance and start the recovery process today.