Psychotherapy is a standard option for anyone in drug or alcohol treatment. Today, the treatments in an addiction therapy program are typically behavioral. This means that they help you change behaviors that tend to support your ongoing substance use. One option sometimes used in addiction treatment is dialectical behavior therapy or DBT. This approach relies on a unique dialog process. Through that process, you learn how to change your behavior in positive ways.
Understanding Behavioral Therapy
Behaviors are your real-world actions in everyday life. Some of these actions take place in private settings. Others take place in a social context or when you’re interacting with other people. Both private and public behaviors result from an internal process that includes your typical ways of thinking about yourself and the world and the emotional responses you go through on any given day.
Some thoughts, responses, and behaviors tend to support your well-being. However, others tend to harm it. Behavioral therapy acknowledges these facts. It helps you identify harmful thoughts, responses, and behaviors. It also enables you to develop alternatives that support your health and wellness.
What Happens in a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program?
Dialectical behavior therapy takes its name from its approach to treatment. This approach is based on a dialectic, or dialog, between acceptance and change. Acceptance is used to acknowledge the reality of addiction. You also accept the impact addiction has on your life. A dialectical behavior therapy program helps you do these things by improving your mindfulness or ability to stay focused on the present. It also allows you to increase your ability to tolerate distressing states of mind.
In DBT, acceptance is always followed by change. In effect, you take your current situation and alter it in healthy ways. There are two core change skills. First, the therapy teaches you how to improve your control over your emotions. You also learn how to interact with others. Emphasis is placed on communicating in clear terms that don’t promote interpersonal conflicts.
Both individual and group sessions are used in the typical dialectical behavior therapy program. Each setting allows you to work on specific acceptance and change skills. DBT therapists may also make themselves available for any needed coaching between sessions.
DBT for Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders
Dialectical behavior therapy is an evidence-based treatment, which means that solid research findings support its general effectiveness. The therapy was first developed as a treatment for borderline personality disorder. However, studies show that it is also useful in the treatment of co-occurring disorders. These conditions, also known as dual diagnoses, become active when addiction and additional mental illness overlap. Common co-occurring conditions include:
- Bipolar disorders
- Eating disorders
As a rule, co-occurring disorders are difficult to treat. That’s true because your health depends on getting help for two problems, not just one. However, recovery is a real possibility with the right kind of treatment. DBT is just one of your options for dual diagnosis recovery. Another form of therapy, called cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT, is also beneficial. This makes sense since DBT is based on some of the core principles of CBT.
Seek Long-Trem Recovery at Northpoint Colorado
Interested in dialectical behavior therapy in Loveland, CO? Talk to the addiction specialists at Northpoint Colorado. We can answer any questions you have about this therapy. We can also help determine if it meets your treatment needs.
Northpoint Colorado also offers CBT for dual diagnosis. The treatment we provide will help you recover from addiction. In addition, it will help you recover from any accompanying mental illness. To learn more, call us today at 970.579.4569. You can also take advantage of our online message form.