Therapy is one of the pillars of a successful drug treatment program. Whether done one-on-one, in a group or as a family, therapy allows the addict to take a deep dig into the underlying causes of their addiction. One form of therapy that is both effective and popular in drug treatment programs is dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT). Not only is DBT effective in helping people stop abusing substances, but this form of therapy also is of great help to those experiencing mental health issues that can lead to drug addiction.
If you ask what is DBT, this article will explain what DBT is and what happens during DBT counseling. Additionally, you will learn about the benefits of dialectical behavioral therapy in rehab. Thrive Teen is one of Southern California’s premier teen treatment facilities. We utilize DBT and other evidence-based therapies and services to help your son or daughter overcome addiction once and for all. Call us today!
So…what is DBT?
Dialectical behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy utilized for people who feel emotions intensely and may not respond to other forms of therapy. DBT is based on the principles of cognitive-based therapy (CBT) but has added dimensions. Like CBT, DBT is a therapy that helps people understand how their thoughts affect their emotions and behaviors. However, DBT also helps the client focus on accepting the reality of their current lives and behaviors and finding ways to transform their lives.
Created in the 1970s by psychologist Marsha Linehan, dialectical behavioral therapy has proved effective for treating these conditions because each is thought to be associated with issues resulting from unhealthy or problematic efforts to control intense, negative emotions. DBT not only is effective for people suffering from substance abuse, but it also helps people struggling with the following conditions:
When DBT is being considered for a client, the client must realize there is a deliberate process in starting treatment itself. First, there is a pre-treatment period where the patient and therapist determine if they can work together. The first sessions focus on understanding DBT treatment, expectations, and how it is different from standard therapy. DBT is a long-term commitment, and clients must agree to stay in dialectical behavioral therapy sessions for one year. If accepted by the client, they will sign a formal agreement and begin treatment.
The first phase of DBT is individual therapy sessions that occur weekly for 45-60 minutes each session. In these sessions, both therapist and client create a hierarchy of goals which can include decreasing self-harming behavior, addressing maladaptive behavior, and learning healthy skills to help bring forth positive change. DBT also involves group sessions where clients learn coping skills such as mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal communication, and distress tolerance.
Additionally, people in DBT sessions take part in telephone coaching, texting, or Zoom coaching outside of formal training sessions. There are also team and peer meetings where clients discuss their issues and put the principles of learning in sessions to use.
The benefits of DBT counseling are evident. First and foremost, dialectical behavioral therapy in rehab is evidence-based, extensively tested, and customized for each client’s specific needs. DBT helps reduce anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues that exacerbate a client’s substance abuse. Additionally, clients are able to contact their therapists at a moment’s notice if they are struggling with treatment.
However, there are drawbacks to DBT that must be noted. People in DBT sessions are given homework, and that may not be well suited for everyone. Also, the lengthy time commitment required for DBT may only suit some clients. Additionally, the strict structure of dialectical behavioral therapy treatment may be a deterrent to some. Before DBT is considered for therapy, the client will undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether this therapy is a good fit.
If your son or daughter is struggling with addiction, mental illness, or both conditions, you must find professional help as soon as possible. As one of Southern California’s premier teen treatment facilities, Thrive Teen features evidence-based treatment programs administered by experienced and compassionate professionals. No matter the severity of your child’s condition, our dedicated team will create a customized treatment plan that best fits their needs.
Call Thrive Teen today and help your teen become healthy and happy.