It was only one comment about your life. But before you knew it, you started yelling at your friends. The intense anger and frustration stuck with you. Over the next few days, you couldn’t seem to escape the negative thought process haunting you.
For many people, intense emotional responses only happen after long periods of stress. But there are some people who only need a small trigger for the same result. When someone swings from one emotion to another, it takes a toll on relationships and makes the individual struggling feel isolated and alone. Oftentimes, people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.
After all, numbing your thoughts with drug or alcohol can help, but it’s a dangerous and temporary solution. But with the help of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the necessary lifestyle change that seems so far away is now within reach.
So, what is Dialectic Behavior Therapy? In this post, we’ll explain what DBT is and how it can benefit those suffering from addiction and mental health challenges like depression, anxiety and bi-polar disorder.
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
What is DBT Therapy? Dialectical Behavior Therapy is treatment that focuses on helping people struggling from drug or alcohol addiction gain a better understanding of their thoughts and emotional responses. At first, DBT was used to treat bi-polar disorder. However, it has since adapted to treat substance abuse disorders, as well. DBT is about promoting change and acceptance within your mind, so intense emotions are processed before you act on them.
How Does Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Work?
DBT is often used when someone has a co-occurring condition (for example, depression and alcohol abuse, or an anxiety disorder and heroin addiction). It calls for you to stop using drugs or alcohol and encourages a non-judgmental approach. Blame is cast aside in favor of self-compassion and the promotion of positive coping strategies. DBT can be broken down into two basic steps:
- Working to boost essential life skills: These life skills allow someone suffering from addiction to process their thoughts and emotions in a healthier way. It teaches you constructive and positive ways to react to emotions you’re feeling.
- Applying and maintaining the skills in your life: Once you’ve learned new coping skills and techniques, the next step is to apply them outside of treatment. For example, you may turn to meditation to help ease stress instead of drinking or using drugs. Or you may have learned ways to catch yourself when you’re falling into a negative mindset to help you stay more positive during your daily routines.
For DBT to have lasting change, you have to maintain your motivation and continue practicing the skills you learned in treatment. Just like a plant, this mindset needs to be fed and nurtured. While we all have trouble staying motivated at times, the changes inspired by DBT can help you move forward.
The Benefits of DBT
Many of the benefits for DBT stem from the individualized approach of the treatment. No two addictions are alike, which is why DBT looks at the symbiotic relationship between your addiction and mental health. Here are some of the key benefits of DBT in addiction treatment:
- DBT gives the therapist the power to customize treatment based on your unique needs and situation.
- DBT is a hierarchy by design, meaning treatment addresses the most dangerous behaviors first.
- Treatment often uses techniques like mindfulness, emotion management and personal communication. It all plays into fostering a positive mental state and a sense within yourself that change is possible.
- Since positive reinforcement is such a big part of DBT, you’re more likely to stick to treatment.
- DBT understands that you can’t heal all your issues at the same time. Realistic expectations combined with compassion encourage you to move forward at a steady and effective pace.
Break Free from Addiction and Negative Emotions at Fountain Hills Recovery
Now that you know how DBT works, it’s time to get help. At Fountain Hills Recovery, our goal is to use DBT to help you overcome the challenges of your co-occurring disorders. There is a better version of yourself waiting to move forward. We can guide you in rebuilding healthy behaviors and provide support during your treatment and recovery.
A healthier and happier life is yours for the taking. Take the first step and contact our admissions team. We’ll answer any questions about our DBT therapy and top-rated addiction recovery center.