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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Today, addiction treatment programs in Washington have a range of options to help you regain your sobriety. One option coming into increasingly widespread use is dialectical behavior therapy, or “DBT.” DBT is a broad-spectrum approach that provides you with multiple forms of support. Along with other forms of care, it can help form a treatment plan that increases your odds of recovery success.

DBT is one of many treatment modalities that we utilize at Northpoint Washington. To learn more about our offerings, reach out to our expert team of addiction and mental health experts at 425.437.3298.

Basics of Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is a mainstay of modern drug and alcohol treatment. It gets its name from the fact that it helps you identify and change addiction-supporting behaviors. A variety of specific therapies take a behavioral approach. That includes DBT. It also includes cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, which helps form the basis of DBT.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy aims to help you overcome thoughts and emotional responses that sustain addiction. In doing so, it also aims to help you overcome addiction-sustaining behaviors. As its name indicates, DBT is a dialectical approach to therapy. This means that it takes two seemingly opposite concepts and combines them to support your recovery.
The first of these concepts is acceptance. Before doing anything else, you accept the reality of your current situation. After taking this step, you move on to the second DBT concept: change. Change allows you to undo the things you have accepted. In this way, it sets you up for a substance-free future.

Acceptance in DBT

There are two acceptance-based approaches in DBT: mindfulness and distress tolerance. Forms of mindfulness you may work on include:

  • Paying attention to individual thoughts and emotions as they arise and fade
  • Not passing judgment on the things you think and feel
  • Learning how to use factual terms to describe your experiences

Distress tolerance increases your ability to endure highly unpleasant emotions. Common examples of such emotions include pain, unhappiness, sorrow, and fear.

Change in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Change is the essential companion of acceptance in DBT. The therapy focuses on two specific change-related skills. The first of these skills is known as emotion regulation. By developing this ability, you learn how to do such things as:

  • Become aware of your various emotional states
  • Label each state in clear terms when it occurs
  • Recognize how your emotions affect you
  • Gain control over your feelings and how you react to them

DBT also teaches you interpersonal effectiveness. This skill improves the quality of your interactions with others. It does so, in part, by helping you maintain your personal boundaries. It also enhances your ability to identify and express your wants and needs. The overall goal is to help reduce your susceptibility to peer pressure and other harmful influences.

Settings for DBT

Dialectical behavior therapy takes place in multiple settings. Part of your treatment takes place in individual sessions with your therapist. You will also take part in group therapy. In addition, you may receive additional help outside of sessions when needed. This combined approach enhances the usefulness of DBT in your recovery.

Turn to Northpoint for Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Edmonds, WA

Are you in need of dialectical behavior therapy in Edmonds, WA? Contact your local specialists at Northpoint Washington. We include DBT among our many treatment options. When appropriate, it will form part of your customized recovery plan. That plan may also include other forms of therapy. In addition, it may include any needed medications.
At Northpoint, we’re committed to the highest standards of addiction treatment. Our goal is comprehensive support that meets your specific needs. With our help, effective recovery is within reach. For more information on DBT and other services, call us today at 425.437.3298. We’re also available through our online form.