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