Facing the Repressed Causes of Addiction with DBT Treatment

Facing the Repressed Causes of Addiction with DBT Treatment

There are multiple approaches to drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Some of which might work, and some of which might be just a waste of time for certain individuals. It’s really hard to tell who will benefit from which treatment because addiction affects everyone individually and differently. Not everyone has the same cause for addiction as the next person. However, studies show that discovering the causes of addiction is one of the most effective ways to go about drug or alcohol addiction treatment. DBT counseling allows patients in drug or alcohol addiction treatment a way to access repressed and underlying causes of their substance abuse. 

What is DBT Treatment?

DBT, or dialectical behavioral therapy, is a substance abuse treatment method similar to cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on changing thoughts that lead to adverse behaviors. DBT leverages the same approach. Additionally, it helps identify underlying causes that led to the addiction. It utilizes more group therapy sessions than the cognitive approach, which allows for more options and flexibility in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. DBT treatment involves two approaches, individual and group therapy sessions.

Individual DBT Treatment

During individual sessions, DBT focuses on problems that result from addiction. Those who suffer from addiction often times self-medicate in order to avoid negative emotions. Individual DBT sessions allow patients to identify these emotions and also develop coping skills. This way, they can work through emotions once treatment is concluded, without the aid of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, individual sessions aim to get to the bottom of harmful behaviors, like suicidal thoughts or actions and using drugs or alcohol.

Individuals may discuss any emotion or behavior that causes relapse during individual DBT treatments. Also, individual DBT sessions allow for patients to identify relationship problems and develop skills used in repairing damaged relationships and maintaining new ones. Essentially, DBT treatment helps patients identify negative behaviors, change thoughts patterns that translate into behaviors and develop coping mechanisms so that old behavior can be left in the past.

Group DBT Treatment

Along with individual therapy sessions, DBT treatment includes daily sessions with others that are enrolled in drug or alcohol addiction treatment. A specialist that controls the topic of discussion guides these sessions. Issues are discussed and scenarios are role played so that coping mechanisms can be practiced and identified as a group. The four modules that DBT group sessions focus on include:

Interpersonal Relations: This aspect of group DBT treatment includes focusing on social interactions and situations that patients who are in recovery may experience outside of treatment. Patients practice how to use self-control to set boundaries and say “no” so that they can stay sober once treatment concludes.

Acceptance: Developing acceptance is a vital part of drug and alcohol abuse treatment. If an individual cannot accept their present circumstances, it will be difficult to heal and move forward with their lives. Those that cannot accept the present moment will be more apt to using drugs or alcohol to cope after treatment ends.

Emotion Management: Those recovering from addiction are likely to feel a swarm of emotions that were once masked by drugs or alcohol. Managing these emotions are key to preventing relapse. Group DBT treatment addresses these emotions in a peer setting. This develops coping mechanisms and helps individuals regulate emotions after treatment concludes.

Mindfulness: Being present is a huge concept in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Embrace mindfulness by enjoying the present moment. Anxiety about the past or future will only stress you out more. Thoughtfulness and Mindfulness is about being able to assess a situation before offering a reaction. This is an extremely helpful skill to develop. Those in recovery learn to think before they act. This mantra helps many people avoid relapse.

Benefitting from DBT Treatment in Recovery

DBT treatment is so diverse so that aspects of it can benefit anyone in drug or alcohol addiction treatment. Individuals who want to have a lasting recovery should develop skills and techniques so that they are self-confident after treatment ends. This type of treatment directly targets areas of life that have been the cause of addiction. Without discovering the real problems that addiction stems from, treatment is just about quitting the use of drugs or alcohol. This will not free the individual from the cycle of addiction and is only a temporary band-aid. 

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