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How Can DBT Help Treat Addiction?

a group of men discuss dbt and addiction treatment

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a relatively new evidence-based treatment for all manner of mental health disorders. DBT has been of particular interest in terms of addiction treatment. This therapy can help people manage their cravings, change destructive behavior patterns, and learn to live healthier, more productive lives. Starting a dialectical behavior therapy program can help you overcome addiction. Call Vertava Health at 888.601.8693 to find out how we can support your recovery.

What Is DBT?

DBT is a style of therapy that evolved from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder, a mental disorder that was previously resistant to treatment, DBT has quickly become a leading force in treating a variety of mental illnesses.

Dialectical behavior therapy and addiction treatment offer successful outcomes, with numerous addiction programs and clinicians finding great success in pairing the two.

How DBT Works

Like cognitive-behavioral therapy, DBT focuses primarily on identifying, challenging, and changing self-defeating patterns of thoughts and behaviors. Yet unlike CBT, DBT includes the essential elements of mindfulness and acceptance.

By incorporating these two elements into therapy, people can learn to change their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. They’ll also become more comfortable with setbacks, challenges, and intrusive thoughts. DBT has several components, including:

  • Individual therapy with a trained counselor
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Skills training
  • Extensive personal coaching

Each component works together in a comprehensive treatment plan, ensuring that every patient gets the help they need when they need it.

What DBT Treats

DBT has proven itself to be an effective treatment for various disorders. Some of the disorders that DBT can treat include:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

As such, DBT can be an excellent therapy for people who have co-occurring disorders alongside addiction. A competent therapist will be able to address both issues concurrently.

DBT and Addiction Treatment

Dialectical behavior therapy and addiction treatment have proven to be an effective combination. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, the foundation upon which DBT was built, has been used for decades to help people understand and change the thought patterns that can lead to addictive behaviors. The addition of mindfulness and acceptance can further enhance this treatment by helping people control their cravings and learn to accept discomfort as part of the treatment process.

In DBT, patients learn to understand how thought patterns can become self-defeating. They practice reframing these thoughts, which can lead to more positive behavioral changes. The mindfulness component enhances this process, as it can help people identify the thoughts as they occur, rather than simply acting upon them.

Finally, the acceptance component of DBT is crucial to addiction recovery. Many people with a substance use disorder feel a great deal of shame, regret, and guilt. They can be terribly embarrassed about their previous actions, which might lead to relapse if a person gets wrapped up in the emotions. Learning to accept the feelings and then let them go can be one of the most valuable tools for DBT and addiction recovery.

Start DBT and Addiction Recovery at Vertava Health

When you’re ready to start treating your addiction with the help of competent and compassionate professionals, reach out to Vertava Health by calling 888.601.8693.

We understand how difficult addiction and its consequences can be, and we’re dedicated to showing all of our patients how they can work through their problems and achieve recovery.

By calling our facility, you’re making a choice for a better life, a choice to change, and a choice to recover. Recovery is possible. The team at Vertava Health is ready to show you the way. For convenient access, please be sure to use the online form.