Treating an addiction is about so much more than just targeting physical symptoms. Substance abuse disorders are primarily psychological, and overcoming them requires therapy. Fortunately, many forms of evidence-based therapy can help. Just one of these options is dialectical behavior therapy.
What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
Dialectical behavior therapy, also known as DBT, is a specific form of cognitive behavioral therapy. DBT seeks to give residents the skills they need to handle emotions and cravings. Although the physical and chemical dependence on addictive substances might be gone, lingering desires and temptations can still arise months or even years later. If residents learn how to resist, they won’t fall victim to these obstacles in recovery.
DBT can make it easier to handle negative emotions and challenge negative thought patterns. It can also address mental health issues, which can often be a contributing factor to substance abuse. DBT is typically offered in a one-on-one capacity, although sometimes phone therapy or group therapy options are available as well.
Candidates for DBT
Many people who struggle with substance abuse disorders are suitable candidates for DBT. It is ideal for those who have a diagnosed mental illness as well as those with low self-confidence. Anyone who gets stressed easily can also benefit from dialectical behavior therapy.
DBT is also proven to be useful for those who have relapsed in the past. If previous treatment wasn’t sufficient, then adding in something new might be necessary. DBT could be the piece of the puzzle that leads to real and lasting recovery without the risk of relapse.
Gaining Coping Skills for Challenging Situations
DBT is highly customized, and the plan for each session depends on the goals of the resident. Challenging situations will always exist for individuals after rehab, and throughout life, so it is essential to have practical coping skills in place. Through DBT, residents can create custom coping skills that work.
In DBT, residents need to identify what their most significant challenges are. These are unique to each, but they might include environments where others use drugs or alcohol, or feeling tired or stressed out at home. Once you can identify these triggers, then you can also craft solutions. DBT is the ideal venue to make a list of coping mechanisms and then practice using them in various situations.
Mindfulness practice is about being in the present. Instead of worrying about the future or dwelling in the past, it is about appreciating the here and now. DBT focuses on mindfulness as a way to achieve small goals in the present. If you’re sober right now, then you’re on track.
Learning to Regulate Emotions
For many people struggling with substance abuse, emotions can feel out of control. They can quickly lead to destructive decisions, some of which might impact recovery. In DBT, residents will learn how to regulate their emotions.
Anger, sadness or loneliness can all become extreme. If that’s all a person can focus on, then long-term sobriety isn’t the priority. Rational thinking takes over when emotions become regulated with therapy.
Supplementing DBT at Kemah Palms
At Kemah Palms in Kemah, Texas, dialectical behavior therapy is one of many treatments available to residents. Within a comfortable environment, residents can fight back against substance abuse through all of the following:
- Chronic pain recovery program
- Medical detox
- Family program
- Massage therapy
- Yoga and acupuncture therapy
- Relapse prevention education
- Alumni events
Dialectical behavior therapy is just one of many tools that can aid your journey to recovery. For access to a range of resources that can help you fight back against substance abuse, Kemah Palms is an excellent choice. Call 866-604-1873 to take the next step toward a lifetime of sobriety.