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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

An Overview of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Addiction therapy programs offer a variety of therapeutic approaches to help people who are struggling with a substance use disorder. Our dialectical behavior therapy program in Malibu is designed for people who wish to regulate their emotions and cope with stress more effectively. Contact Seasons in Malibu at 424.235.2009 to learn more.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

A man in a dialectical behavior therapy program

Dialectical therapy, or DBT, was originally created to treat people with borderline personality disorder, specifically those with suicidal and self-harm ideation. The therapy’s effectiveness in helping with emotional regulation and limiting self-destructive behaviors has made it a staple of substance use disorder treatment as well.

Other conditions DBT is used to treat include:

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Non-suicidal self-harm behaviors
  • Suicidal ideation

DBT is evidence-based and may be used in both group and individual therapy settings. There are three main components of DBT that are applied in four unique stages. The components include skills training (group sessions), individual therapy, and phone coaching. Phone coaching is useful in the event of a serious situation, such as a relapse.

The Stages of DBT

The stages of DBT are not always used in sequence but are designed to address the most serious issues first. Depending on the individual’s needs, the therapist may combine stages or move back to earlier steps as more information is revealed in therapy.

Stage One: Addressing self-destructive behaviors is the first stage of DBT. Eliminating concerns about suicide or self-harm paves the way for further treatment.

Stage Two: In stage two, clients address any issues that are affecting their quality of life. Issues such as stress management and emotional regulation are typically the priority.

Stage Three: Issues related to interpersonal relationships and self-esteem are the focus of stage three.

Stage Four: Moving through the most challenging issues during the first three stages makes room for greater enjoyment in life overall. Fulfilling life goals, creating meaningful relationships, and experiencing more happiness are the goals.

Benefits of DBT for Addiction Treatment

In DBT, clients and their therapists work together to create positive changes. Unlike traditional “talk therapy,” DBT does not require hours of discussion about past events. The focus remains more on present challenges and how to modify your thinking and behavior to align with your goals.

Some of the greatest benefits of DBT for addiction treatment include:

  • Self-acceptance and acceptance of current circumstances
  • Improved collaboration and communication
  • Changing beliefs that are no longer effective or healthy
  • Learn new skills
  • Recognize your strengths and build on them
  • Increase self-confidence

DBT may help increase an individual’s mindfulness—being more aware of their thoughts and actions. It can also help you learn how to cope with difficult or stressful situations. The skills that you learn in a dialectical behavior therapy program are useful in repairing and improving relationships with friends and family members. Including a dialectical behavior therapy program in addiction treatment decreases dropout rates and improves social function.

Clients with co-occurring disorders like depression will also benefit from our DBT program in Malibu. DBT may not be appropriate for every client receiving addiction treatment services. However, due to its effectiveness, it has become a staple for substance use disorder treatment.

Seasons in Malibu Offers a DBT Program in Malibu

Our dialectical behavior therapy program in Malibu is an important element in a comprehensive treatment plan. If you have difficulty with change or accepting current circumstances as they are, DBT may be an effective aid in your recovery journey. To learn more about the benefits of dialectical behavior therapy, call Seasons in Malibu today at 424.235.2009.