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Treating Complex or Multiple Addictions through DBT

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of counseling that has proven highly effective at treating a variety of psychological disorders, including the following:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Eating disorders
  • Addiction

Most addicts suffer from at least one co-occurring psychological disorder that may have contributed to the development of their dependency. DBT helps patients sort through layers of psychological damage and to build the skills necessary to transcend them.

How Does DBT Work?

DBT starts with the basic components of cognitive behavior therapy, and then adds components that build mindfulness skills based on the meditative principles of Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies. The techniques are not religious in nature and require no specific spiritual worldview in order to work. Specially trained DBT counselors walk patients through a combination of private counseling and group or classroom instruction in order to help them develop core mindfulness skills centered on the following four basic modules:

  • Mindfulness skills focus on developing the ability to be aware of the emotions, fears and thoughts that lead to negative and unhealthy behavior. The goal of these skills is for the subject to be capable of recognizing their emotions without automatically responding to them. This process involves a non-religious and non-metaphysical form of meditation.
  • Distress tolerance skills help the subject to endure stressors that typically lead to addictive behavior without succumbing to those urges. This module helps a person tolerate the triggers they have identified, without resorting to previously established behavior models.
  • Emotion regulation skills help the subject actively manage his or her own emotional responses to stressors and triggers, instead of reflexively reacting to them.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness skills help the patient improve their communication skills and establish and reinforce healthy boundaries. The skills learned in this module are similar to those taught in assertiveness training programs, and include helping the subject learn when and how to say “no.”

Applying the Principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy to Complex Addiction Recovery

For patients with multiple addictions and a complicated web of psychological disorders to disentangle, the skills taught through DBT can be invaluable. Counselors help these patients learn to identify their own triggers and emotional dysfunctions, label them, actively decide if they are going to allow these emotions to drive their behavior, and then act accordingly. Few counseling styles have been proven as effective for multiple symptom rehabilitation as DBT.

Finding the Best DBT Program for Your Unique Needs

If you are struggling with multiple addictions and complex psychological disorders, please call our toll-free helpline immediately. If someone you love seems to be trapped in a pattern of dysfunction we can help. Only licensed DBT counselors can administer this highly specialized form of therapy, and we can help you find the best one for your specific needs.

DBT may be the answer to your struggle with emotional disorders and addiction. Don’t put off the call. Pick up the phone and let us help you today.