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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of talk therapy based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The therapy treatment is specially modified for individuals who feel emotions intensely. It combines strategies such as mindfulness to help patients focus on the present and live in the moment. The main goal of DBT is to help people develop healthy ways to regulate their emotions, enhance their relationships with others and cope with stress.
When is DBT Used?
At Steps Recovery Centers, we use DBT as a highly effective treatment option for individuals with challenges managing and regulating emotions. Our expert team finds DBT especially effective for dual diagnosis, when substance abuse and mental health issues overlap. We consider using DBT when a patient typically has one of the following issues:
How Does DBT Work?
DBT can be administered in individual therapy, group settings, or a mix of both methods. Sessions typically last approximately two hours, and patients meet weekly for up to six months. There are four basic components of DBT, and the specific technique depends on the individual patient’s needs and progress.
The following are the four components of DBT:
Learning to use mindfulness
Mindfulness teaches patients to focus on their “here and now” moment. It helps them become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Practicing mindfulness and focusing on the present allows individuals to avoid getting caught up in past regrets or future worries. When practicing mindfulness, patients learn to:
- Identify and observe their thoughts, emotions, and surroundings
- Describe their situation in a manner that makes it easy for others and themselves to understand
- Actively participate in value-based and goal-directed behaviors
Learning about interpersonal effectiveness
This technique guides patients on how to communicate effectively, build and foster healthy relationships and express themselves. It focuses on how one can positively interact with people, including family, friends, and colleagues. Patients learn how to navigate stressful challenges they may face and how to deal with personal relationships. During the sessions, patients are taught how to:
- Communicate clearly
- Let go of past animosity
- Learn to say no
- Ask for whatever they need without feeling a loss of respect
Learning about distresses tolerance
This module teaches patients techniques to manage their overwhelming emotions and difficult situations. Patients practice the art of accepting change and how to better manage and deal with any crisis they face. These include:
- How to improve stressful situations
- Learn to self soothe
- Identify ways to distract yourself
Learning to regulate emotions
This module is typically the last DBT skill taught at the therapy session. It focuses on the techniques that help one understand and manage their emotions. Learning emotional regulation can improve one’s ability to feel less vulnerable, regulate their emotions and become confident in their ability to control their feelings. This technique best suits fiercely intense people who often feel overwhelmed, angry, depressed, frustrated, or anxiety-ridden.
Benefits of DBT
The following are some of the crucial benefits of DBT:
A better understanding of emotions and thoughts
With DBT treatment, patients become aware of their complex emotions and thought structures that influence behaviors and choices. This empowers them to make healthy choices when facing overwhelming situations.
Enhance relationships with others
DBT helps patients build their self-esteem and better their relationships. The treatment encourages them to understand and accept themselves as complex people. When they accept themselves, they take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming others for their shortcomings.
Gains tools to maintain positive thoughts and behavior
DBT enhances interpersonal effectiveness and communication skills, which empowers them to handle distress and conflict. They develop effective strategies to maintain positive thoughts and behaviors when facing difficult situations.
What to Expect at Steps Recovery Center
At Steps Recovery Center, we leverage a full range of therapeutic techniques and tools to improve our client’s mental health and overall well-being. For many patients in Utah, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) provides the best support for overcoming certain conditions, including borderline personality disorder (BPD), anxiety, and depression.
Our licensed and experienced therapists offer a multistage DBT approach alongside other treatment plans designed to change unhealthy thought patterns and improve mood regulation. The following are the approaches to our DBT treatment:
- This stage addresses severely destructive behaviors such as suicide or self-injury. The therapy is centered on safety and crisis intervention. It helps patients achieve some control over their problematic behaviors.
- This stage equips one with life skills like distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The goal of this stage is to encourage patients to experience their emotional pain instead of buying it.
- Focuses on enhancing relationships and self-esteem. This stage seeks to promote happiness and stability.
- Promotes relationship connections. This stage seeks to empower one to maintain a long-lasting capacity for success and happiness.
Start Your Path to Healing in Utah
Steps Recovery Center offers highly effective DBT treatments as part of a more comprehensive treatment plan designed to help one improve their relationships and enhance their quality of life. Our therapists equip patients with the skills and tools that help them effectively manage their emotions to lead happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.
Steps Recovery Centers is a collection of several different facilities in Utah. We utilize proven methods to help those struggling with mental health conditions regain control over their lives and walk the path of recovery. Our services include medical detox, residential treatment, day treatment, intensive outpatients, sober living, and alumni aftercare. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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