Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), adapted from a similar treatment modality known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), is one of the most effective techniques for addressing substance abuse and addiction. Originally used to treat borderline personality disorder, addiction treatment professionals have embraced its benefits since the 1980s.
What Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy Involve?
DBT’s basic premise is similar to CBT: changing faulty thinking—or at least one’s relationship to his or her thoughts—leads to changes in behavior. Dr. Marsha Linehan was the first behavioral health expert to take CBT’s principles and add the concept of dialectics to the cognitive brew. As a result, the newly invented dialectical behavior therapy enabled practitioners and their clients to focus on behavioral change while still accepting themselves for who they are. The therapy works to change negative acts, thoughts, and feelings that can get in the way of progress.
DBT’s Four Components
Dialectical behavior therapy consists of four main components. They include:
- Therapist-led group life skills training for up to six months.
- Individual and group therapy that establishes a forum to discuss ways to apply life skills to overcome daily challenges
- Phone coaching that can occur outside of sessions if a client is in crisis, relapsing or having other serious difficulties.
- Therapist consultation for dialectical behavioral therapy practitioners. This provides support and input from a team of consultants so that therapists can continue to provide the highest quality of support to their clients throughout the therapeutic process.
DBT and Addiction Treatment
Dialectical behavior therapy uses several approaches to address the challenges of addiction. These include:
- Discontinuing the abuse of substances such as alcohol or drugs
- Minimizing withdrawal symptoms
- Diminishing a client’s cravings and temptations to abuse drugs or alcohol
- Learning how to stay away from situations that trigger substance abuse
- Encouraging the client to establish new, positive relationships and/or vocations
How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Help You Recover
If you or someone you love is struggling under the heavy burden of substance abuse, dialectical behavior therapy has proven to be one of the most effective ways to turn your life around in a positive, long-lasting way.
Located in the beautiful mountains near Asheville, NC, Crest View Recovery Center is one of the premier substance abuse programs in the country. Because we know that every person is unique, we tailor your therapy to suit your own particular needs. We use DBT in numerous addiction therapy settings, including:
Our individual and group therapists will partner with you to explore the origins of your destructive behaviors, identify the thoughts that cement them into habits, and then work to change your responses to those thoughts in a positive, self-affirming way. At Crest View, our substance abuse programs can help you overcome dependence on alcohol, heroin, meth or opioids. We understand the heavy toll that drug or alcohol dependency takes on your life, your relationships, your finances and your future, and we’re committed to helping you redefine your life as a sober, healthy person.
Many centers make wild claims of success, but we have the alumni to prove how effective our addiction treatment strategies are. You’ll never be alone in your journey. Your success is our success.