What Is DBT And How It Can Help Your Recovery

Drug and alcohol addiction is a widespread problem worldwide and seems to be growing every day. You cannot go a day without seeing reports on the news about the opioid epidemic, or violence and death as a result of substance abuse. Everyone has been touched by addiction in some way. Fortunately, there have been many enhancements made to how we treat drug and alcohol addiction in recent years.


With so many people addicted to substances, it seems like there are never enough professionals and specialists who work with addiction issues. But there are new methods and forms of treatment for recovering addicts. One of these treatments is called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT. Originally developed in the 1980s to help treat mental health patients with Borderline Personality Disorder, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has proven successful in treating substance abuse disorder.


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy and is employed to alter thought and behavior patterns. The idea is that changing thoughts and behaviors can change the way a person feels. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy patients can gain a better understanding of themselves and their emotional reactions while growing their self-confidence. Patients can also learn how to have healthy relationships and social interactions.

In addiction treatment, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy points to addiction as a symptom of emotional dysregulation. People often abuse substances to self-soothe when handling difficult, intense emotional disturbances. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy may work best for people who abuse alcohol and drugs to self-medicate.


A good relationship between therapist and patient is critical in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. The therapist will help the patient find and address the root cause of their emotional dysregulation, which will ultimately aid in the patient’s recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Like most forms of substance abuse treatment, the Dialectical Behavioral Model typically uses a combination of individual and group therapy sessions. Dialectical Behavioral Treatment is intense work for the patient but can have excellent, lasting results. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy works by decreasing use of the addictive substance, easing physical discomfort, eliminating cravings or urges to use, eliminating triggers for substance abuse, reducing behaviors conducive to drug addiction, and increasing community reinforcement of sober, healthy behaviors.


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy can help with substance abuse, especially in cases where addicts are using substances to self-soothe or as a response to emotional distress. There are many forms of therapy and treatment available for addiction and substance abuse disorder. While Dialectical behavioral Therapy may not work for you, there are many other treatment options and resources available. Getting professional help is vital to recovery from mental health and/or substance abuse disorder. Recovery is possible, with the correct treatment.

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