Behavioral therapies are often a key element in addiction therapy programs because of their efficacy and the fact that they actively work to avoid triggering past trauma. Originally developed by psychologist Marsha Lineman in the 1970s as an offshoot of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has become one of the most effective treatments for numerous conditions, including addiction.
Apex Recovery Nashville’s dialectical behavior therapy program can be accessed as part of your individualized treatment plan in either outpatient or residential treatment. DBT for addiction treatment can be successfully implemented in both individual and group therapy settings and is considered one of several best-practice addiction therapy programs that we offer at Apex Recovery Nashville. Call 615.703.4639 or reach out to us online to get started.
What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
DBT is a behavioral therapy that embodies, as the name implies, a dialectic. In other words, it is based on two things that seem to be in opposition—acceptance and change. But the interaction between these two seeming opposites creates a healthy transformation naturally and without anxiety.
In a dialectical behavior therapy program, you will learn to accept what is while also making internal shifts in order to change your trajectory—away from substance abuse. Positive healing is generated through opposing forces.
How DBT achieves this whole-person transformation is through its fundamental principles based on mindfulness. Acceptance brings balance and peace, while forward movement toward goals such as health and sobriety creates change naturally.
The Pillars of a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
DBT for addiction treatment is highly effective because its underpinning is based in being grounded and mindful, conscious behavior. The essential principles and objectives of DBT for addiction treatment are reflected in four foundational pillars:
- Mindfulness – Woven into DBT is the practice of being mindful of what is going on internally and externally by focusing on the present moment. Mindfulness minimizes impulsive behavior and directs you away from feared unknowns and toward the knowable now. Seeking mental and emotional balance is an excellent goal for someone who may have coped with stressors and painful feelings with substances.
- Distress tolerance – If you struggle to cope with the unexpected or challenging things that happen, you are not alone. Finding the hardships of life intolerable is common among those with a substance use disorder (SUD) or mental health disorder. Skills that mitigate your reactions to distressing events, as well as memories and fears, can make a big difference. Mindfulness plays a big part in this aspect of the DBT process.
- Interpersonal effectiveness – Effective communication, healthy boundaries, and compassion for self and others are all important factors in healthy relationships. In DBT, you work on interpersonal effectiveness so you can heal the important relationships in your life and thus strengthen your own support network while also being able to honor your commitments to them.
- Emotional regulation – Do you experience emotional dysregulation, extreme mood swings, and exhaustion as you try to maintain balance? DBT and its use of mindfulness practices help you center yourself in profound ways that seem to shift your outlook, experience, and sense of possibility.
In Apex Recovery Nashville’s DBT program, you can learn how the principles above are interlinked. Mindfulness is the foundation of rest and helps you tolerate distress, heal relationships, and become emotionally regulated. Building your recovery on this strong, balanced footing improves outcomes.
Learn More About Apex Recovery Nashville's Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program
DBT is one of the evidence-based therapies at Apex Recovery Nashville that can support you in your recovery and help you return to health and sobriety. Find out more about how we can help you reach your goals. Contact us online or call 615.703.4639 to get started—our staff is ready to answer your questions and reassure you that you are not alone.