Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a skill-based therapeutic modality that focuses on healthy coping mechanisms, emotional regulation, and mindfulness. Originally developed in the 1980s to help treat borderline personality disorder, DBT is known for encouraging real-world practice. Clients learn to actively integrate acceptance and change, rather than viewing them as mutually exclusive options.
DBT helps to increase resilience and reduce self-destructive behaviors, both of which are important to maintaining sobriety and experiencing a higher quality of life. At Del Arroyo Recovery Center in Southern California, we use these and other mindfulness techniques to bolster the addiction treatment process and address underlying issues.
Conditions DBT Can Help Treat
The concepts and practices taught in dialectical behavior therapy help identify and shift the behavioral mechanisms that come with a variety of mental health conditions.
Examples of conditions DBT is commonly use for include:
- Borderline personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Self-harm and suicidal ideation
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
In addition to addressing the co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders, the techniques of DBT are also an effective element of addiction treatment. Emotional regulation helps individuals manage cravings and handle stressful circumstances without turning to drugs or alcohol. It can also help them form healthy coping strategies and reduce the impulsivity that could lead to relapse.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Our Southern California Addiction Treatment Center
At Del Arroyo Recovery Center, located in the Los Angeles area, we offer professional mental health services led by qualified, experienced experts. Our staff has years of experience treating substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders, and our medical care team can provide healthcare and medication on-site as appropriate. Our compassionate, comprehensive care in sunny Southern California makes it easier to learn and practice DBT skills.
Clients at Del Arroyo Recovery Center are introduced to these DBT techniques through individual counseling, group sessions, and other scientifically proven therapies. These include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement therapy (MET), and more. Throughout their programs, we continue to monitor symptoms and behaviors for improvement. As they progress and hit their therapy goals, we shift to helping them plan for the future.
After treatment, we continue to provide program alumni with ongoing support and aftercare. This includes counseling, support groups, and other helpful recovery resources.
DBT Strategies We Use
Each client works with a DBT therapist on four key skills:
- Distress tolerance: The ability to tolerate intense emotions and overwhelming situations without turning to self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse. An example of a DBT technique for distress tolerance is using “TIP” skills. These involve using temperature, intense physical activity or paced breathing to reduce distress.
- Mindfulness: The ability to experience the present moment without judgment. An example of a mindfulness technique is mindful breathing, in which the person focuses on their breathing, returning their attention to it when it wanders off.
- Interpersonal effectiveness: The ability to assert one’s needs in relationships. This skill helps clients be assertive in a respectful and effective way, allowing them to better handle conflicts or ask for what they need.
- Emotional regulation: The ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions. This includes recognizing emotional triggers, rating the intensity of different emotions, and employing distress tolerance skills when those feelings are negative.
Change Your Life With DBT and Addiction Treatment in the Los Angeles Area
If you have a substance use disorder and a coexisting mental health condition, dialectical behavioral therapy at our Agoura Hills luxury facility can help. By practicing mindfulness, developing interpersonal effectiveness, improving emotion regulation, and learning coping mechanisms, you can better manage the symptoms and triggers that once led to substance abuse.