Do you know how much dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can help clients in addiction recovery? DBT focuses on helping clients learn how to live in the moment and cope with stress in a healthy manner.
Most clients find this form of care very helpful because they learn mindfulness through dialectical behavior therapy. In this therapeutic approach, “dialectical” refers to bringing two opposites together — acceptance and change. Working on both simultaneously is typically more helpful to clients than focusing on either one by itself. When DBT helps clients to accept all of their recent experiences, it balances nicely with the therapeutic work of recognizing and changing negative behaviors.
If DBT sounds like it could help you or someone you care about dealing with a substance use disorder, contact Midwest Detox Center. Reach out to us online or call 833.647.0392.
What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
DBT is a modified type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The main goals of this behavioral therapeutic approach are the following:
- Teaching clients how to accept and live in the moment
- Helping clients to develop healthy ways of coping with stress and regulating emotions
- Giving clients tools to improve their relationships
Originally, DBT was intended to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, it has since been adapted to treat a range of other mental health conditions. It can help clients who are exhibiting self-destructive behaviors or are experiencing difficulties with emotional regulation. DBT is also sometimes used to help clients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
How does DBT work, though? Comprehensive DBT focuses on ways to enhance the following life skills:
- Mindfulness: DBT also helps clients become more self-aware, attentive to the present moment, and aware of others.
- Interpersonal effectiveness: This behavioral therapeutic approach also helps clients navigate conflict and teaches them to interact assertively.
- Emotion regulation: Clients should also learn to recognize, label, and adjust their emotions with DBT.
- Distress tolerance: After DBT, clients should experience intense emotions — such as anger or extreme stress — without reacting impulsively or using self-injury or substance use to soothe themselves.
Like CBT, DBT is often used in group therapy, especially when clients are taught behavioral skills. It’s also used in individual therapy when clients learn to adapt those behavioral skills to handle their life challenges.
Why Is Mindfulness in Addiction Recovery Important?
When thoughts or feelings hurt you, you may develop extreme emotions such as guilt or shame. The natural response to these emotions is to try and bury them. Craving the lifestyle you once had with an addiction, no matter how damaging, could make you feel weak. It can leave you wondering why you aren’t stronger and more able to resist triggers and stressors.
Fortunately, when you learn mindfulness through DBT and start practicing it, you can remind yourself that these extreme emotions and related thoughts are not permanent. There are also healthy ways to navigate through them positively.
Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts in the present moment. Admitting that these thoughts exist — and that they will not last forever, no matter how extreme they are — can make all the difference when you’re on the path to recovery. Being aware that thoughts are real and a natural part of life can help you see situations with enhanced clarity. It can foster an acceptance that whatever emotions you’re feeling are okay and can be handled independently.
Some clients may believe that mindfulness in addiction recovery has no real value, but nothing is further from the truth. Studies show that mindfulness has immediate and long-term effects on clients in recovery. Mindfulness is incorporated in many therapies, including CBT, DBT, and even stress reduction therapy.
How Can You Make Sure That You Learn Mindfulness Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
If you’re going to DBT sessions, you will learn how to be mindful. It’s part of the way the behavioral therapeutic approach enhances essential life skills that will help you handle your life challenges.
Core mindfulness is the first thing you learn with DBT. After that, you’ll learn interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. By learning mindfulness, you are empowered to be in charge of yourself and how you think and feel. As you start to understand yourself better, you can accept and change unhealthy parts of yourself. It is a practice of paying attention and also setting intentions.
Learn More About Midwest Detox Center’s Programs and Services
If you’re looking for an addiction treatment program that includes DBT and incorporates mindfulness, reach out to Midwest Detox Center. Contact us online or call 833.647.0392.