Originally, clinicians developed Dialectical Behavior Therapy as a way to address conditions like borderline personality disorder. Today, however, professionals also use this method widely in addiction recovery. DBT can play a significant role in recovery, and it aims to tackle several key issues that can be a stumbling block for those struggling with addiction.
Addiction can often cause people to become less aware of themselves and their surroundings. When you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you become hypersensitive to one particular thing: Your addiction. Many people become focused on how to obtain their preferred substance and when to use it. Anyone that stands in their way becomes a hater or someone who doesn’t understand their unique situation.
Once a patient is in Outpatient Treatment, that mindset won’t go away automatically. It takes time, and it often also takes DBT. Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, patients can learn how to keep an open mind. They can also learn how to be mindful and in the moment.
For example, someone might get stressed out because unexpected traffic makes them late for a recovery meeting. It is easy to start thinking that being late isn’t their fault, that it would be better not to show up at all, or that perhaps relapse is inevitable. When you’re able to be mindful, you can start to put things into a more realistic perspective.
Dealing with an addiction is akin to being on a roller coaster. Even after patients stop using drugs and alcohol, there are some extreme highs and lows. On good days, everything feels wonderful. On bad days, it might feel like the world is set up to see you fail.
While this is common, it can be a serious hindrance to wellness and true recovery. That’s why it is so important to learn how to regulate emotions. While it is normal and healthy to experience strong emotions, they shouldn’t dictate long-term behavior.
Feeling sad is okay, but it doesn’t mean that a patient needs to stay home from treatment. Being angry is okay, but it shouldn’t lead a patient to sabotage their own recovery. Learning to regulate emotions and see them objectively can be a tremendous help in the fight against relapse.
Gaining Tolerance for Distress
Dialectical Behavior Therapy can teach patients how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Often, patients don’t know how to deal with feeling distressed. In the past, some patients always turned to substance abuse when there was any kind of emotional or physical pain.
It is vital that patients learn how to be uncomfortable and remain sober. Everyone experiences pain during life. While pain is inevitable, patients can learn how to deal with that pain and cope with it. Once that is possible, patients will feel better equipped to maintain their sobriety and avoid the dangers of relapse.
Understanding More Than One Point of View
An integral part of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is the idea of dialectics, or weighing the value and meaning of truth. Some patients may have trouble reconciling their feelings with someone else’s feelings. The patient might truthfully be upset, but that doesn’t inherently mean that the other person is wrong.
Dialectics helps patients understand that their feelings and someone else’s feelings can both be valid. This is true even if they aren’t in perfect alignment with one another. This opens up the idea of truth and helps patients avoid a black-and-white way of thinking.
Supplementing Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Gateway Foundation Gurnee
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a useful tool on the road to recovery. However, DBT alone is not enough. That’s why Outpatient programs at Gateway Foundation Gurnee offer comprehensive care. By providing many different therapies and addiction treatment services, we prepare patients for the future.
Just a few examples of these addiction treatment services and therapies are as follows:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment
- Mindfulness-based Sobriety
- Medication-Assisted Treatment
- Motivational Interviewing
Through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, many patients can make strides in their recovery and be better prepared in the face of relapse. At Gateway Foundation in Gurnee, Illinois, Outpatient programs are designed to meet the needs of patients, and that often includes DBT. If you think your route to recovery might consist of behavioral therapy, call [DirectNumber] to learn more.