Close to 21 million people suffer from addiction, but only less than 10% ever receive help. Traditional treatments for addiction include therapy and medication, but these treatments often don’t take into account dual-diagnosis that typically accompany addiction. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a great treatment option for those that have not had success with traditional treatment in the past. Specifically, this type of therapy offers specific DBT skills which are imperative assets for any individual in recovery from addiction.
DBT is a form of psychotherapy whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in building a life worth living. It was originally created to treat borderline personality disorder, but it was quickly discovered that the methods help with a whole range of disorders.
The approach helps people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning what triggers them. Once individuals learn their triggers they learn coping skills to apply to life in order to avoid undesired reactions. This form of therapy is extremely helpful for those that need to change patterns of behaviors that are not helpful or harmful, like addicts.
Most addicts will acknowledge that their behaviors impact their life in a negative manner. Even when clean, triggers can send addicts back to their addiction. This is why DBT is so beneficial. Through DBT those struggling with addiction learn to identify the root of their issue, discover what triggers them, and practice methods to cope beyond returning to their drug of choice.
DBT pushes for an immediate and permanent cessation of drug abuse, but it also teaches a patient that if a relapse occurs it doesn’t mean a patient cannot or should not continue in therapy.
A huge benefit of DBT is that it doesn’t just treat addiction. Many addicts self-medicate to control a secondary illness. It’s not uncommon for addicts to have a dual diagnosis. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and borderline personality disorder are also common for addicts to have. DBT teaches patients DBT skills to help not just their addiction, but also these other disorders.
DBT is not a miracle cure, but many patients have had amazing results. It’s a form of therapy that can help almost anyone in life, whether they’re an addict, have a mental disorder, or are just struggling with making good choices.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or if you’re interested in learning more about DBT skills please contact us!
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.