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DBT: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Techniques

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Dialectical behavior therapy techniques, or DBT for short, form an important part of medically traditional addiction treatment. DBT is regarded as an evidence-based therapy because it has the support of the medical community and has been clinically tested and proven to be safe and effective for the treatment of substance use disorders as well as other behavioral and mental health conditions. Today, many rehab centers rely on psychotherapies like DBT to treat clients who have a drug or alcohol addiction or dual diagnosis

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer DBT and other evidence-based forms of psychotherapy. We complement these therapies with alternative and holistic treatment approaches that support the recovery process. Our treatment center is known for its comprehensive treatment programs, which include alcohol and drug detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and aftercare. We feature licensed clinicians who are experienced in the treatment of many different behavioral and mental health conditions. 

If you are experiencing a substance use disorder or mental health issues with a drinking or drug abuse problem, you can rely on Resurgence Behavioral Health for help. We have a streamlined enrollment process and accept multiple forms of medical insurance. Our goal is to help clients manage their condition successfully. To that end, we always individualize treatment to ensure that each patient gets the specific help they need to achieve lasting recovery. 

Clients can expect to find a welcoming rehab center that is comfortably furnished and designed with healing in mind. We treat all patients with dignity and respect. You can develop the strategies you need to cope with your condition effectively with treatment. Here, we’ll explore the ins and outs of dialectical behavioral therapy, an important aspect of our treatment programs.

Addiction Treatment that
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Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Introduction to Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy is a leading type of psychotherapy that is used to treat many different behavioral and mental health conditions, including substance use disorders and mood disorders. Closely related to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy focuses on emotional regulation, especially distress tolerance. Patients and therapists work together to develop positive strategies for coping with distress in healthy ways. The therapy was developed by a researcher at the University of Washington and has become an important form of evidence-based psychotherapy.

Core Components of DBT

The core components of DBT include four modules: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. Clients can expect to work closely with their therapists during treatment sessions to develop strategies for each core DBT element. Often, the first few sessions focus on acceptance and change. Clients learn to identify aspects about themselves/life that require acceptance and thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that they can change to improve their lives. Although clients can quickly learn the strategies involved with DBT, practicing them and applying them consistently to one’s life takes time. 

Mindfulness Dialectical Behavior Therapy Techniques

Mindfulness is a core element of DBT. It forms the foundation for this form of psychotherapy. Using mindfulness, clients work to accept and tolerate their difficult emotions. Therapists use various dialectical behavior therapy techniques to help clients practice mindfulness. Clients strive to live in the moment, exercise nonjudgment in various situations that are either positive or negative, and accept situations even if they cause distress. Many people find it challenging to accept situations they don’t like, which perpetuates negative emotions and may trigger them to drink, use drugs, or engage in other unhealthy habits. By practicing mindfulness techniques, clients can improve their distress tolerance, allowing them to cope with difficult situations more easily and healthfully.

Techniques for Enhancing Distress Tolerance

During DBT sessions, clients learn ways to tolerate distress more effectively. Stressful situations can trigger negative emotions, which can lead a person to drink, use drugs, or engage in other unhealthy habits. By tolerating these situations better and developing coping strategies safeguarding their mood, they can better manage their condition. Emotional distress is a trigger for relapse, so clients need to manage those emotions before they lead to unhealthy behaviors. By learning to cope skillfully with emotional distress, clients can safeguard their recovery progress.

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Emotion Regulation Strategies in DBT

Emotions can play a powerful role in substance use disorders and mood disorders. Regulating these emotions is the key to stability and the effective management of one’s mental or behavioral health disorder. During DBT sessions, therapists will help clients identify and label their emotions, be mindful of their emotional state, increase positive emotions, identify obstacles that get in the way of positive emotional responses, and identify triggers of negative emotions. Clients can expect to use distress tolerance strategies to manage their negative emotions when they arise.

Improving Interpersonal Effectiveness

Improving one’s interpersonal effectiveness can positively impact one’s ability to manage their condition. Therapists will help clients enhance their self-respect and the respect they offer others. Balancing one’s own needs with the needs of others is an important part of this aspect of DBT. Relationships can trigger negative emotions, so therapists help clients improve relationships through healthier behaviors to reduce negative emotions. Creating positive encounters can nurture the recovery process. 

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

The Role of the Therapist in DBT

DBT therapists are licensed and highly trained. Resurgence Behavioral Health features a team of experienced clinicians and addiction specialists who use DBT to treat clients with many different conditions. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, clients can expect to meet with therapists on an individual basis as well as during group therapy sessions. Frequently, topics will be related to DBT aspects or techniques. DBT therapists strive to partner with clients as they help them develop strategies to manage their condition effectively. 

Challenges and Considerations in DBT

It takes time and practice for people to use DBT techniques in their lives. Because distressing emotions often play a powerful role in substance use and mood disorders, clients can find it challenging to manage their feelings. Yet, emotional instability can trigger unhealthful behaviors. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, therapists help clients master techniques to manage their emotions and other critical aspects of their condition. The goal is to help clients manage their condition effectively to achieve long-term recovery. During therapy sessions, clients and therapists work together to address specific challenges as they arise. Together, they can make progress so that clients move further along their recovery journey. 

Explore DBT Techniques at Resurgence Behavioral Health

Resurgence Behavioral Health offers many forms of psychotherapy and other evidence-based therapies to support clients’ mental and behavioral health needs. We individualize treatment to help each client achieve their recovery goals. Dialectical behavior therapy can help clients develop the strategies they need to manage their emotions more effectively and, in turn, their condition. 
If you are struggling with a behavioral or mental health condition, you can rely on Resurgence Behavioral Health for help. We offer comprehensive care programming at our safe and welcoming treatment center. When you visit us, we can evaluate your condition and determine the best treatment for you. Call Resurgence Behavioral Health today at 855-458-0050 or contact us online to get started on your recovery journey.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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