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Here’s How DBT Can Help Treat Substance Abuse Disorder

People abuse substances due to multiple reasons such as peer pressure, emotional distress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue. Sometimes, they begin using the substance just for fun. But it is important for them to understand that using any such form of substance even for fun generally turns into dependence and later into addiction that takes a severe toll on their health.

There are many ways that an individual can fight his/her addiction to these substances. Since treatment for addiction is not one size fits all, some of the common forms of treatments opted by individuals include detoxification, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management and rational emotive behavioral therapy, to name a few. Out of these multiple therapies available, one of the most widely recommended therapies by experts is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

DBT, a modified version of CBT, is a form of talk therapy or psychotherapy. The major focus of DBT is to help individuals who experience negative emotions change their thinking pattern. It is also used to treat severe mental illnesses such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and bipolar disorder that are affecting individuals at a fast pace.

Components of DBT

DBT is an effective therapy to help individuals who feel suicidal or are at a risk of self-destructive behavior. It helps them understand how to deal with their negative thought patterns and cope with their unhealthy behavior.

DBT generally include four core components as mentioned below:

  1. Skills Training : The individual is made to attend a group therapy session wherein he/she learns communication and coping skills. He/she gains an understanding about how to use mindfulness, distress tolerance or emotional regulation in their daily life and activities. These classes are generally scheduled once a week and last for around two hours per session for around 24 weeks. 
  1. Individual Therapy : This therapy aims at helping the concerned individual learn the art of applying the skills learnt during skills training session in real-life situations. Tailor-made to meet his/her requirements and condition, this therapy helps him/her decide their plan of action on how to apply the new skills for their recovery. This therapy is held on a weekly basis.
  1. Phone Coaching : This facility aims at connecting the recovering individual with their therapist when needed. During these phone sessions, the concerned individual gets to understand how to make the best use of emotional regulation and distress tolerance techniques to manage their feelings and deal with stress. 
  1. Team Consultation : This consultation session is not designed for patients but for the therapists. The aim behind these consultation sessions is to motivate therapists and other healthcare providers to stay motivated and provide the best possible care to those who are difficult to be treated.

 Benefits of DBT 

DBT benefits an individual as well as the therapist in several ways. Some of these include: 

  1. Acceptance : The person learns to accept his/her life circumstances and emotions. He/she also learns to develop positive attitude towards life. 
  1. Behavioral : He/she learns to analyze the current situation and tries to replace them with healthy ones. 
  1. Cognitive : He/she tries to get rid of thoughts that are negative and not helpful. 
  1. Collaboration : He/she learns to communicate effectively and how to work together as a team. 
  1. Enhanced skills : He/she learns new skills with an aim to enhance his/her current skill set. 
  1. Support : He/she recognizes his/her own strengths and tries to use them. 

Getting Started With DBT 

It is important to remember that DBT is not something that can be practiced at home like yoga and other mindfulness techniques. The best way to undergo this therapy is by finding a therapist trained in the technique and identify if it is a suitable fit for you. This can be done by analyzing your current condition/symptoms, history, and future goals.

If someone you know is planning to undergo DBT and looking for a professional help, Athena Behavioral Health can help. Athena is one of the leading providers of mental health and addiction-related treatment services across the country. We have two separate treatment facilities in your vicinity – one that focuses entirely on treating patients with Mental Health Issues; and the other one that focuses on treating individuals addicted to any form of substance. We can proudly state that this is the first time in the country that a treatment facility has come up with two separate facilities for addressing issues faced by patients dealing with mental illnesses and substance addiction.

Athena is more than happy to extend its support to its patients. Fully equipped to provide comprehensive treatment interventions comprising medication management, counseling sessions, and alternative therapy classes, Athena assists its patients with effective rehabilitation strategies, coping skills, and continuing care support. For more details about our treatment facilities and packages, WhatsApp us at 9289086193.

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