Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidenced-based therapy program that has been proven to help individuals struggling with addiction and substance abuse recover from their addictions and live healthier lives.
DBT utilizes cognitive behavioral treatment techniques like mindfulness, which enable individuals to better manage painful emotions and gain insight into their behavior. It also helps clients understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so they can make better decisions in the future.
DBT also utilizes skills such as emotion regulation and distress tolerance, this provides the tools to aid addicts in developing a strong sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy, which are essential components for long-term recovery. With these behavioral skills, individuals can be empowered to take control of their own futures and make positive changes in their lives.
Burning Tree Ranch Offers the Best Long Term Dual Diagnosis Treatment for the Chronic Relapser
The Four Key Principles of DBT Therapy
Helps individuals become aware of their thoughts, intense emotions, and actions in the present moment without judgment or evaluation. Mindfulness increases self-awareness, self-respect and gives insight into your own behavior. This enables you to better understand your actions.
Enables individuals to communicate more effectively with others, resolve conflicts peacefully, and assertively set personal boundaries. Through Interpersonal effectiveness, clients learn to accept responsibility for their actions, recognize their successes, and celebrate their progress as they work towards achieving long-term recovery.
Teaches strategies for tolerating difficult emotions without engaging in maladaptive behaviors such as substance abuse. Through dedication to distress tolerance reduction, those undergoing individual DBT therapy have seen dramatic changes in understanding and accepting themselves and ways to cope.
Helps clients learn how to identify and manage their own emotions in a healthy way rather than reacting impulsively or becoming overwhelmed by intense feelings. Clients learn how to actively manage their emotions by practicing strategies such as distraction techniques or deep breathing exercises.
How DBT Therapy Helps Addicts to Change Their Destructive Behaviors
The key principles of DBT can help addicts recognize their underlying thoughts and help them identify and change the destructive behaviors that are a result of those thoughts. It enables individuals to see how their addiction is impacting their lives and helps them develop healthy coping skills for managing difficult emotions so they can avoid falling back into old patterns of substance abuse.
DBT also provides addicts with a sense of accountability as it encourages self-evaluation and insight into their own behavior. As individuals learn to accept responsibility for their actions, they gain more control over themselves and become better equipped to make positive changes in their lives.
7 Ways to Apply DBT Therapy Skills in Your Own Life
By applying Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills in your own life, you can more effectively manage stress and difficult emotions without resorting to substance abuse.
1. Practice Mindfulness
The basics for beginning a mindfulness practice involve recognizing your breath, being aware of your thoughts without judgment or comment, and having gratitude for everything and everyone around you.
Set aside at least 5-10 minutes every day for mindful breathing, listening to nature (or just silence), tuning into your body with gentle scanning (to become aware of any areas of tightness), and very importantly – releasing judgments.
Advocate for yourself by giving yourself the time to practice mindfulness techniques throughout each day – it will make the world of difference!
2. Deep Breathing Exercises
To practice deep breathing, simply find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and sit in a comfortable position. Start by consciously taking slow, deep breaths through your nose; focus on how it feels as the air enters your lungs and imagine that you are drawing in peace and relaxation with each inhale. On the exhales, allow any worries or stresses to release with each breath.
3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Practicing progressive muscle relaxation can be an incredibly effective tool for reducing stress and helping you relax. It is a form of deep relaxation involving tensing and relaxing sequential muscle groups around the body so that your muscles can be gently loosened.
To get started, find a comfortable position in a quiet room and set a timer for 10-15 minutes. Then begin by tensing each muscle group one at a time, starting with your feet and ending with your face. Hold each tense position for five to seven seconds then release the tension and notice the sensation of feeling relaxed afterward.
With consistent practice, you’ll gradually become more aware of the physical signs of stress in your body and will come to better understand how much intentional relaxation can truly help.
4. Setting Boundaries
Setting boundaries in addiction recovery can be a difficult task, but it is an invaluable step in the recovery process. Boundaries help to ensure that we respect both ourselves and those around us while on our journey to freedom from addiction.
Some tips that can be used to get started are: considering your values, setting clear rules and guidelines for yourself, communicating with your support system, viewing yourself as worthy of self-care, and recognizing the need for self-compassion.
Taking the time to learn how to set healthy boundaries will improve all areas of life, have a positive impact on relationships, and result in physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
5. Recognize and Acknowledge Emotions
Addiction recovery can be filled with difficult emotions and it can be hard to know how best to handle them. Recognizing and acknowledging these emotions is a crucial part of the healing process. Allowing yourself to feel whatever emotion comes up can help you process it in a healthy way and move forward in your recovery journey.
Even though addiction recovery is an incredibly personal experience, it’s helpful to remember that there are other people who have walked this path before you and survived. Instead of bottling up emotions and trying to hide what you’re feeling, consider building community by talking to others who understand firsthand the challenges you face. Letting go of the tension inside not only makes the journey easier for you – it helps restore balance for those around you as well.
6. Practice Self-compassion
Practicing self-compassion during addiction recovery is an integral part of the healing journey, yet it can feel vulnerable and difficult to muster. Self-compassion means treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding, and empathy that you would give a good friend or family member.
To help you get started on cultivating this skill, focus your attention on connecting to your emotions. Take note of when negative self-talk occurs and challenge those thoughts with kindness rather than punishing yourself for mistakes.
Additionally, be gentle with yourself when goals aren’t met or expectations aren’t fulfilled – one misstep doesn’t make a full journey. Lastly, treating yourself with empathy will help you break the cycle of addiction more effectively; add moments of joy and light whenever you can. This small act may be just what you need to begin living with more freedom and compassion.
7. Practice Distraction Techniques
Practicing distraction techniques in addiction recovery can represent one of the fundamental elements in maintaining sobriety. Distraction can mean anything from finding a new hobby to occupy your time, to taking part in recovery activities such as attending meetings or engaging in individual therapy sessions. Doing any kind of activity with focus and consistency can help fight off temptation and keep your mind occupied by something other than drinking or using drugs.
Moreover, connecting with others who have faced similar struggles and hearing their stories can be inspiring, serve as an example of things you could try, and offer camaraderie which is essential to staying on the path of recovery even during difficult times. Ultimately, activities that are engaging and meaningful are essential components for learning how to effectively practice distraction techniques to stay sober.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Burning Tree Ranch
With the guidance of our qualified DBT therapists, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy at Burning Tree Ranch can offer hope and a new outlook on life for those struggling with chronic relapse.
Call us now to speak with one of our friendly admissions specialists, freedom from relapse is possible!