Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It was originally designed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), particularly for individuals who exhibited suicidal behavior or self-harm tendencies. However, it has since been adapted for other mental health disorders, including substance use disorders. DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness. The term "dialectical" refers to the process of finding the truth between two opposing points of view. In the context of addiction treatment, DBT can be particularly useful for individuals who have difficulty managing their emotions, a trait common among those struggling with substance use disorders. DBT provides tools for managing pain and stress, reducing conflict in relationships, and enhancing mindfulness.
At Studio City Recovery, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is used in the following ways:
Skills Training: DBT involves learning four key skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. These skills can be especially useful for individuals in recovery, helping them to manage their emotions, tolerate distress without turning to substances, improve their relationships, and stay present and mindful.
Individual Therapy: DBT typically includes weekly individual therapy sessions. These sessions allow for personalized attention to a client's specific issues and progress. The therapist will help the client apply the skills they've learned to their daily life.
Group Sessions: DBT also usually involves group sessions, where clients learn skills together and can offer mutual support. These sessions are typically led by a therapist and follow a structured format.
Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders: For individuals with co-occurring disorders such as BPD or depression, DBT can be particularly effective. It can help them manage their symptoms, reduce self-destructive behaviors, and improve their quality of life, all of which can contribute to a more successful recovery.
Preventing Relapse: DBT skills can be useful for preventing relapse. Mindfulness can help clients stay focused on their recovery, distress tolerance can help them manage cravings and other uncomfortable feelings, and emotion regulation can help them maintain a more stable and positive mood.
By integrating DBT into our comprehensive treatment approach, we help each individual client develop a range of skills that support their unique recovery and overall well-being. With the guidance of trained therapists, clients can apply these skills to their everyday lives, supporting lasting recovery and healthier relationships.