Dialectical Behavior Therapy

When seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, many types of therapy are used to help the person overcome the addiction. Treatment aims to help the patient figure out what has led them to their addiction and how they can overcome it. The type of treatment used will vary depending on multiple circumstances including the patient’s age, background and any other kinds of physical medical conditions they may have as well as addiction.

One such type of treatment is known as behavioral therapy. Behavior therapy takes many forms including dialectical behavior therapy. Dialectical behavior therapy is a commonly used form of behavioral therapy. Before entering into this type of treatment, it is important to know about the basic ideas and aims of this kind of therapy.

  1. The basic aim of the therapy is to help the patient being treated overcome behaviors that are not helpful to them. These types of behavior may include all types of behaviors that can be dangerous including suicidal ideation and the use and abuse of dangerous substances such as alcohol and drugs.
  2. Staffers work with those who are facing this problem to help them overcome their tendency to engage in the kinds of patterns of behavior that are very unhelpful. They intend to help patient learn to control their emotions better and engage in being more aware of their own unhelpful patterns. Someone may be angry and not even be fully aware of that act. They also may be very sad at the same time and also not aware of that emotional state. Staffers at residential treatment centers often use dialectical behavior therapy in an effort to help people get better in touch with their emotions.
  3. This may take the form of having a skill known as Teflon mind. This is where the person lets things happen in their life without forcing such experiences to continue to affect them. The person learns during therapy sessions to help develop a sense of what is going on and yet not let the negative experiences influence their behavior.
  4. Dialectical behavior therapy also aims to help people simply observe what is going on around them without making judgments or participating in the events. The therapist aims to help the person learn to describe an event in a way that simply describes the event rather than forcing a confrontation or a negative reaction in the person or the people they are talking with.
  5. Another important aspect of this therapy is to help people develop a tolerance for stress. People who feel stress may turn to alcohol or drugs for relief from such stress. This can lead to addiction. Addicts are taught to find other outlets for their stress, outlets that may lead them to better coping mechanisms. Someone who has better coping mechanism can fight off temptation more easily. The emphasis is on using positive activities and contributions to help others as well as yourself. This type of positive thought process and active involvement in the community can help people connect with others and engage in other actions that will lead them away from the potential for drug abuse and addiction. Doing so will help them navigate the often difficult road to recovery when they have left treatment and reentered the world that exists away from treatment centers and direct help.

If you have any further questions, a skilled and licensed staff member at a residential treatment center can help – or call our hotline to learn more.

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