Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is often used to help people struggling with substance abuse problems. You may also receive this therapy as part of treatment for addiction that overlaps with other mental health problems. There are many reasons why DBT plays such a prominent role. In fact, the therapy offers research-backed benefits for a wide range of people in treatment. That’s true whether you receive DBT for addiction treatment or otherwise.
What Are the Principles of DBT?
Dialectical behavior therapy is unique among modern forms of psychotherapy. This uniqueness comes from its basic concept. Specifically, DBT asks you to consider two aspects of addiction that you might otherwise think would conflict with each other. The first consideration is the need to accept where you are today in terms of your struggle with addiction. This acceptance is fostered with the help of:
Mindfulness and awareness training
Activities that increase your ability to tolerate upsetting emotions and thoughts
The second seemingly conflicting aspect of DBT is the need to change your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Your therapist helps you achieve this change by focusing on two things. The first of these things is improving your ability to practice emotional control. The second is learning how to communicate honestly while staying respectful in conversations.
What Is DBT for Treating Co-Occurring Addiction and Other Mental Health Issues?
Dialectical behavior therapy began as a treatment for a specific mental illness—borderline personality disorder (BPD). But early on, mental health professionals realized that DBT adapts well to other uses. Those uses include treating what’s known as dual diagnosis cases or co-occurring disorders.
All people with co-occurring disorders have a diagnosable drug or alcohol addiction. In addition, they have another separately diagnosable mental health condition. Research shows that DBT can help you recover from many forms of dual diagnosis. That includes substance abuse problems that occur along with:
- Binge eating disorder
- Depressive disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Why is DBT effective for treating co-occurring disorders? It addresses underlying problems common to both addiction and other mental illnesses. These problems center on difficulty controlling extremely negative mental states.
What Is DBT for Addiction Treatment?
DBT can also be used to treat standalone substance use disorders (SUDs). The SUD category includes addiction. In addition, it includes life-disrupting patterns of non-addicted abuse. There is a specific form of DBT for people only affected by substance problems. This version of the therapy is known as DBT-SUD. It relies on the same basic methods as other forms of dialectical behavior therapy.
What Are the Benefits of DBT?
DBT treatment comes with several specific benefits. These benefits are supported by extensive research and real-life clinical practice. They include:
- Developing an understanding of how thoughts and emotions affect your addiction risks
- Making it easier to recover from addiction, as well as additional mental illness
- Improving your self-esteem
- Contributing to an overall increase in your quality of life
- Decreasing your risks for suicide and other extreme behaviors
Your time in DBT may also support your recovery in other ways.
Experience the Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Pennsylvania at Promont Wellness
Want more information on the benefits of DBT? The addiction specialists at Promont Wellness are here for you. We can help you better understand how and why this go-to therapy option works.
Promont Wellness is committed to providing the full benefits of dialectical behavior therapy. In fact, therapy plays a role in many of our personalized treatment plans. To find out more, just contact Promont Wellness today at 866.939.4243. You can also reach out to our team online through our handy message form.