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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Seaglass at Royal imparts methodology from various forms of psychotherapy, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is broken down into four main modules: Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

What Is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of evidence-based psychotherapy that was originally designed to help treat personality disorders. DBT has now been proven to treat mood disorders, diminish suicidal thoughts, and alter behavioral patterns such as substance abuse. The therapists work with women in care to promote self-acceptance and incorporate change-oriented methods, while assessing and harmonizing with them.

What Is DBT Used to Treat?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been proven effective in treating borderline personality disorder, addiction, anger issues, impulsivity, and bipolar disorder. 

DBT assists in the treatment of:

  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Emotional regulation
  • Mood Disorders

DBT has four main components that are taught in each therapy session:

  • Mindfulness– Practicing being fully aware and accepting of the emotions stemming from their past habits and trauma. Acceptance doesn’t mean being complacent and refusing to change —-accepting the way you feel about a situation or event and choosing to challenge those feelings and move on from them is one of the first steps in your recovery journey.
  • Distress Tolerance– Learning and obtaining healthy coping strategies in painful situations to prevent reacting out of impulse.
  • Emotional Regulation– Acknowledging and effectively modifying our emotions in response to an emotional situation or event.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness– Skills that are designed to help us manage and balance our wants and needs, interpersonal relationships, and maintain a positive outlook on life and ourselves.

How Can DBT Help in a Substance Abuse Recovery Setting?


Throughout treatment, our emotions can often feel jumbled and unsettling, and that’s okay. Behavioral therapy is tailored towards identifying these painful emotions and learning constructive ways to regulate them. At Seaglass, our DBT therapists initiate healthy conversations within our group discussions. Group discussions are found to be beneficial as it gives our women in care a safe space to be open and vulnerable. This teaches guests to  be honest about their personal wants and needs while also respecting others. 

Our Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Program

At Seaglass, our DBT therapists acknowledge each guest’s individual experience and encourage women to embrace their feelings and change those behaviors rather than shaming them. In restoring our guests self-worth, therapists direct them towards healthier behaviors to assist with coping in situations that would normally trigger dysfunctional behaviors. Individual and group DBT sessions are structured for guests to instill mindfulness and emotional regulation through collaboration with their therapist.

 Mindfulness enlightens our guests on healthy ways to be present and grounded in the moment they’re currently in. These practices equip women in building a solid foundation established on facts and instructs them to detach their emotions from the moment they’re currently in. This act of isolation provides them with a new perspective, offering them personal time to process their feelings rather than reacting out of haste and spite. 

Along with mindfulness, DBT instructs our guests to utilize a technique known as “radical acceptance”. Radical acceptance teaches guests to face their situations without judgment and accept it for what it is. Mindfulness coaches guests on how to identify the difference between your gut feelings apart from the facts. Radical acceptance teaches the importance of accepting reality for what it is instead of wondering ‘what if” or wishing things would’ve been different.

Does Behavioral Therapy Work?

After decades of evidence-based research, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) has proven effective in numerous cases. Another form of behavioral therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) assists those in treatment for substance addiction and helps them to alter their mindset by recognizing negative thoughts and feelings. Throughout recovery, this may assist in restoring the individuals mental health, providing them with healthy coping methods when in doubt or distress. In relation to CBT, dialectical behavior offers the approval that all guests crave while suggesting healthy alternatives for these destructive behaviors. Those who complete their treatment process in drug and alcohol rehab exit with a comprehensive relapse prevention handbook. 

In addition, DBT is utilized by mental health counselors to treat a variety of mental health disorders. For this purpose, these two behavioral therapies, DBT and CBT, treat co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders are defined as having an existing mental illness while also struggling with a substance use disorder.

 

Co-Occurring Disorders Treated by DBT:

  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • OCD
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • ADHD

The testimonies from behavioral therapies such as DBT are incredibly significant considering  many people who struggle with addiction typically start abusing drugs and alcohol as a means to desensitize one or more untreated mental health disorders. Tending to both the mental health disorder(s) and substance use disorder (SUD) at the same time has proven to be the most effective method of addiction treatment.

What is DBT used for?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is known for improving several mental health disorders, substance use disorders, as well as behavioral disorders. DBT proves to be especially essential in addiction recovery as it implements numerous coping strategies that can be applied in situations dangerous to an individual’s recovery or their own moral standards. 

Positivity and Mindfulness DBT Changes:

The Way We Think…

Keeping ourselves accountable for our critical thoughts and replacing them with positive ones can often feel forced and uncomfortable in the beginning. When we continue with a reluctant mindset, it holds us back from our future potential and traps us in a gloomy state.  In the long run, altering our thoughts and thinking patterns not only enhances our mindset but our lives as a whole.

What We Believe…

When we shift our negative thoughts to the positive side of things, this tends to have an impact on our beliefs and how we view our relationships, career, self-growth, and the world as a whole. Positive thinking shifts us to becoming more open-minded and optimistic when we look towards the future.

How We Feel…

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is centered on the way we perceive our thoughts and how that affects our outlook on life. The wisdom that guests will attain front DBT sessions will help with cutting out destructive reactions such as emotional outbreaks, exaggerations, sabotaging ourselves and/or others, and other adverse behavioral responses to triggering issues. Obtaining positive thinking patterns provides us with an emotional cushion, helping us to perceive situations practically and aim for a solution rather than a reaction.

The Way We Act…

As you practice healthy, positive thinking, the process will become more of a habit than something you have to do. These habits will help you:

  • Decrease disturbing thoughts
  • Diminish sensitivity
  • Point out destructive behaviors and feelings
  • Be less temperamental in response to vexing events

 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

In dialectical behavioral therapy, we encourage our women in care to embrace all thoughts and feelings- even if they are nerve-racking. Embracing these feelings rather than rejecting them is the only way to properly deal with them and begin to allow yourself to heal. To embrace those feelings does not necessarily mean to accept them without change—- it means to acknowledge and understand them so that you know how to properly avoid them in the future.

 

Mindfulness-based stress reduction can simply be described as becoming conscious and aware of everything you are sensing and feeling in that moment—-freely. This encourages guests to become vulnerable with themselves without concern for any type of explanation or judgment.

 

Benefits of Mindfulness include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Healthier and happier relationships
  • Better quality of life
  • Diminishes emotional reactivity 
  • Improves sleep 

Our mission and sole purpose is to help you rebuild a life founded on happiness, health, and meaning in sobriety. We will work tirelessly to ensure your success, because we believe you deserve the beauty that comes with a fulfilling life.

If you or a loved one would like more information about our residential inpatient program Seaglass at Royal Life Centers in Prescott, Arizona, or any of our addiction treatment programs, please reach out to our admissions team at 866-960-7593. Because We Care.

Our admissions coordinators make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Power to Transform

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