People with addictions often have underlying mental health disorders, which can complicate treatment. Many of these individuals suffer depression or anxiety. It’s not uncommon for someone with substance abuse disorder to have suicidal thoughts. It can be especially challenging to treat someone with a co-occurring disorder, but it’s not impossible. The right approach can make a big difference, and that’s where dialectical behavior therapy comes in.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

woman talks to therapist about dialectical behavior therapyDialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a form of behavioral therapy that therapists often use for clients who need mental health treatment. This includes people with suicidal tendencies or borderline personality disorder. It’s also beneficial for addiction treatment because the same negative thinking patterns that suicidal people have often plague drug and alcohol abusers as well.

Using DBT, counselors help people identify their negative thoughts and then work to change them.

Change doesn’t come easy, and this is true for everyone, not just people with addiction issues. DBT provides motivation so that people can make the changes they need while accepting what they can’t change.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Addiction Treatment

When people enter rehab and take part in DBT, what can they expect? There are several components that make up a dialectical behavior therapy program, including one-on-one therapy, group therapy sessions, and phone coaching. In addition, because DBT is such an intense program, the counselors involved also meet in groups as a way to support and encourage each other.

It’s this integrated approach that makes up a complete DBT program.

Therapists who use DBT for their clients teach them essential skills, such as:

  • Mindfulness: Instead of focusing on the past (and attaching negative emotions to it) or worrying about the future, DBT teaches clients to focus on the present.
    Emotional regulation: Identifying negative emotions quickly allows people to adjust their thinking before they spiral out of control.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: People learn how to interact with others, including making their needs known and setting boundaries. Not only does this increase their happiness due to the socialization, it can reduce conflict due to practicing effective communication skills.
  • Distress tolerance: People learn how to face stress and cope productively instead of using drugs and alcohol to escape.

Whether individuals have a mental health disorder in addition to a substance use disorder, the way they think often influences their use. They often don’t practice positive coping skills when they feel lonely, sad, or angry. Instead, they try to escape by abusing drugs and alcohol.

DBT gradually shows clients effective ways to process negative thoughts, so they don’t gain steam.

Begin Your Recovery With Us

Are you ready to change your thinking patterns so that you can escape addiction? Woodlands Recovery Centers is a rehab facility near Houston, Texas that can help you. Our client-first approach ensures you or a loved one receives the personalized treatment that makes a difference.

Our programs include:

Our treatment center is located on 20 acres of serene, wooded land that presents an ideal setting for recovery. Get a fresh start by focusing on health and healing. We offer experiential therapy, including yoga, art, and music therapy.

If you believe Dialectical behavior therapy or other forms of addiction treatment can help you, reach out to Woodlands Recovery Centers. Call 855-752-3377 today, and we’ll start you on the road to sobriety.