Addiction is a disease, and like any other chronic illness must be treated with high quality care that meets the needs of the individual. In finding a treatment provider that best meets your needs it is important to consider the different services and therapeutic modalities the program has to offer. One of the most well established and effective forms of therapy to aid in the recovery of those suffering from substance use disorders (SUDS) is dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). 


What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical behavioral therapy, also known as DBT, is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Its purpose is to identify and change negative thinking patterns and push for positive behavioral changes. It teaches addicts to cope with and change unhealthy behaviors. The philosophy of DBT is based on the concept that everything is composed of opposites and that change can occur when there is communication between opposing forces and helps the client to understand that change is constant and inevitable. DBT helps individuals prepare for and accept change and have the emotional bandwidth to manage new and unfamiliar situations in a healthy way. DBT therapy improves one’s distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, core mindfulness and emotional regulation


In DBT, the addict and therapist work on both self -acceptance and moving towards change. DBT teaches the client coping mechanisms to deal with emotions and everyday situations that otherwise might be stressful or concerning for the individual. The therapist will use validation and motivation to keep the client engaged and motivated to work towards change. DBT can occur in an individual or group setting through talk therapy, art therapy, group discussions, and experiential activities. 


Addiction and DBT

In regard to treating addiction DBT has been known to be extremely effective. Upon entering treatment most individuals have an extensive history of dealing with unhealthy behaviors relating but not limited to substances, behavior, attitude, eating, and self-esteem. DBT therapies help the client acknowledge the ineffectiveness of old behaviors and take a leading role in goal setting and pioneering change in their life. Within the therapeutic setting patients are shown how to recognize their positive strengths and attributes and further develop and utilize their pre-existing skill sets. DBT can help clients come to terms with their past experiences and take the necessary steps to make permanent change in the way they think and feel about themselves and their lives. Using DBT while helping clients transition effectively back into life is necessary in creating permanent change. In building self esteem while using DBT clients are more likely to believe they can achieve successes and are set up to excel in their academics, careers, and emotional relationships. DBT can be used in the long-term to aid in the recovery of substance use disorders and other mental health disorders. Once someone is finished with addiction treatment, they can continue DBT on their own with an individual therapist. 


Let Us Help You!

Anchored Tides Recovery provides individual and group sessions of DBT throughout all levels of care in our program. DBT is taught by our master’s level clinicians and has been a groundbreaking part of many of our client’s recovery journeys. Participating in DBT therapy in an aftercare setting has helped many of our women to find the courage to get back into schooling, the work force, and be able to relate to their families and friends in a healthy way. Utilizing DBT services has aided in the ability of our women being able to achieve long term sobriety. 

Contact us today if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, mental health, or an eating disorder! 


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