DBT Therapy has many similarities to cognitive-behavioral approaches, but is also a very unique form of treatment. Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we want our clients to explore different forms of treatment and therapy while at our facility. No two addictions are alike, which is why we offer a variety of therapies and treatment techniques. Within this article, we provide information and resources on what DBT therapy is, how DBT therapy is used in addiction treatment, and how we can help you overcome addiction at Atlanta Recovery Place! 

DBT Therapy Definition

DBT therapy is short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The “D” stands for “dialectical,” which basically means a synthesis or integration of opposites. When using a dialectical strategy approach in therapy, it can help with balancing the idea of acceptance and change. The “B” stands for “behavior,” which means that this focus is to target behaviors by pulling some apart and rebuilding others. This therapy is an evidence-based therapy and has been promising in treating borderline personality disorder (BPD), substance use disorder (SUDs), binge-eating disorder, and even depression in the elderly. Although DBT therapy is similar to cognitive -behavioral approaches, it differs in some elements. These elements include:

  •  The five functions of treatment
  •  The biosocial theory and a focus on emotions in treatment 
  •  Consistent dialectical philosophy
  •  Mindfulness and acceptance interventions

The five different functions of DBT therapy include:

  • Enhancing capabilities: This is used to improve important life skills including those involving regulating emotions, being more mindful, which includes paying attention to experiencing the present moment, effectively navigating interpersonal situations, and tolerating distress without making the situation worse.
  • Generalizing capabilities: This involves generalizing the treatment gains to the client’s environment. This is accomplished within skills training at home (like homework) and with practicing/troubleshooting these skills while improving upon these skills.
  • Improving motivation and reducing dysfunctional behaviors: This helps to improve clients with their motivation to change and reduce their behaviors that are inconsistent with the life that they want to live. This is accomplished through individual therapy and self-monitoring. 
  • Enhancing and maintaining therapist capabilities and motivation: This involves the maintaining of motivation and the skills that the therapy has created for them. This also helps the therapists in providing support and encouragement for the therapists and their clients.
  • Structuring the environment: This involves structuring the environment in a manner that can reinforce effective behavior, while not reinforcing problematic behavior. This will involve structuring treatment in a way that promotes progress within their treatment. 

How Is DBT Therapy Used in Addiction Treatment?

Within addiction treatment, DBT therapy is used when changing behavior (i.e., drug use) and structuring the clients’ environment so that they can maintain sobriety without the distractions. This type of therapy helps those suffering from a substance abuse disorder by helping them to quit using the drug they’re addicted to, to help them to develop life skills in relation to this addiction, and to help them change their environment to prevent a future relapse. When changing the clients’ environment, the therapists help their drug-free clients to modify and avoid certain social circles that promote drug usage. This treatment/therapy can vary between different therapists and facilities.

How Atlanta Recovery Place Can Help

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we want to equip our clients with everything they need to be successful within their recovery, whether that be treatment options, social support, and more. We try to help our clients, during and after treatment, find social support to help them throughout their recovery process. We also build a treatment program that fits your individualized needs. Reach out to us today to find a treatment that works for you!

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