DBT’s Role In Treatment

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is helpful in treating substance abuse, the pros say, but what is it and how does it work?

It’s far from becoming a household word, but Dialectical Behavior Therapy (or DBT as it’s known) is growing in popularity and has proven very helpful in treating drug addiction. This fast-growing method of treatment is being used increasingly to overcome substance abuse problems. But what is its role in the treatment process?

DBT’s Role In Treatment

What is DBT?

When DBT is used in drug treatment, it involves the individual considering his or her responses to a number of real-world situations and asked, by the therapist, how they would respond in each. These answers are used by the therapist to highlight the patient’s thinking, particularly in relation to his or her drug use. The treatment then involves working with the patient to role play and find alternate responses that allow for healthier thought processes that will enable long-term sobriety.

How DBT Works

Those in the grip of addiction often lose self-respect as well as respect for others. The need for the user’s drug of choice becomes all-consuming, taking over all reason and responses. During the treatment process, the addicted individual needs to relearn how to treat others – and themselves – with respect. Individuals also need to learn to avoid temptation and to respond to triggers in healthy ways instead of returning to drug use. DBT helps the individual rehearse scenarios they may face once they leave treatment and prepare to respond in a way that won’t threaten their newfound sobriety.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is also a way for those in recovery to get back in touch with their own feelings and how their words and actions affect those around them. DBT shows an individual how to change their own actions to create different outcomes in a variety of situations and provides a window for the recovering addict so that they can see how their words and actions can have a profound meaning on those closest to them.

Those who have been addicted to drugs have only seen the world through the narrowest of prisms. When one’s existence is only tied to getting that next “fix,” it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. DBT puts individuals back in touch with how little decisions impact the big picture every day. By utilizing Zen teachings, DBT shows the recovering addict how every decision they make helps create their total self. While this may be obvious to many people, it’s something those in recovery need to learn or relearn after a long period of faulty thinking.

DBT at The Oaks at La Paloma

If you or someone you love is battling an addiction, call The Oaks at La Paloma at our toll-free number. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.

Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.