Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Recovery from substance use disorder is possible. Learn more about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) at Hawaii Island Recovery.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based therapeutic modality that is helpful in the treatment of substance use disorder (SUD), anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other mental health disorders. It is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), focusing on helping individuals change negative thinking patterns that are perpetuating substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders in order to provoke positive behavior change. 

How Does Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Work? 

The term “dialectical” was created upon the idea that it bridges the gap between two opposite experiences in therapy–the experience of acceptance and change. 

It’s frequently thought that if an individual accepts an aspect of themself or their life, they won’t be able to change it. For example, an individual struggling with substance use disorder may feel as if they accept their addiction, they will not be able to experience recovery. For someone with anxiety, they may feel like, if they accept the anxious thoughts they are having, then they won’t be able to “get rid” of feelings and thoughts related to anxiety. 

However, as an individual learns to both embrace where they are in their recovery and what led them to use substances in the first place, they are able to begin making true changes in their lives and relationships that lead to long-term recovery and freedom from the use of substances. 

DBT is most often used in individual and group therapy, where individuals are guided to learn how acceptance leads to change while tracking emotions and behaviors that are getting in the way of that change. In identifying the root of problematic habits, individuals are supported as they learn new tools and skills to cope with emotional distress in ways that allow them to change and reach the goals they have for themselves in recovery. 

DBT works through the following four components of treatment: 

  1. Distress Tolerance: The process of learning how to tolerate distressing thoughts, emotions, feelings, and situations without resorting to self-destructive coping mechanisms. 
  2. Emotional Regulation: Learning to regulate one’s emotional distress in order to form new ways of coping. 
  3. Mindfulness: The practice of being in the present and accepting what is, rather than being consumed by ruminating on the past or trying to control the future. 
  4.  Interpersonal Effectiveness: Learning to navigate conflict and relationships with others with assertiveness and self-respect. 
Seeking Addiction Help

What Conditions Can Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Treat? 

Through extensive bodies of research, DBT has been shown to be effective in the treatment of:

  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • Personality Disorders, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Risky and impulsive behavior, such as gambling, sex, legal troubles, and repeated life crises caused by underlying mental illness 

Overall, DBT is an evidence-based therapeutic modality that empowers individuals to become the change agent in their lives in order to experience stability in their emotions, ways of thinking, behaviors, self-image, relationships, and life in general. 

Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): 

Although the results of receiving DBT will vary from individual to individual, based on what they are struggling with and what their treatment goals are, several benefits include, but are not limited to: 

  • Decreases in anger 
  • Reduction in suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors
  • Improved mood, social functioning, and relationships 
  • Ability to cope with distressing emotions and situations in ways that do not lead to self-destructive behaviors 

Substance Abuse Recovery at Hawaii Island Recovery

Beginning recovery from substance use disorder typically begins at a rehab center specializing in treating substance use with supervised medical detox. During medical detox, individuals are supported by trained professionals as they withdraw from any substances present in their system prior to beginning the next stage of treatment. Because of the adverse side effects that come with substance withdrawal, such as nausea, vomiting, muscle tremors, fever, and involuntary shaking, it is important that this process is done with trained professionals to keep those around them and themselves safe. 

Experiential Therapy

After medical detox is over, many individuals enter residential treatment, often at the same drug rehab center they went through medial detox at, such as at Hawaii Island Recovery. At our premier drug rehab center on the Big Island of Hawaii, we offer medically supervised detox followed by treatment at our residential program to support individuals with their recovery needs. Before beginning their customized treatment programming, they first meet with a treatment team member to create an evidence-based and holistic treatment plan to fit where they are in recovery, the severity of the disorder, and the goals they have in their healing journey.

Substance use disorder and mental health disorders don’t go away after completing residential treatment. Because of this, many individuals often transition into lower levels of care after residential treatment, such as outpatient and aftercare planning, to continue being supported in their recovery. At Hawaii Island Recovery, our outpatient and aftercare planning is designed to support where you are as you reintegrate into “normal life.” Without aftercare and outpatient support, treatment is often not as effective or sustainable in the long term, which increases the risk of relapse and overdose.

During treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery, you will not only be supported as you experience healing and freedom, but to do so in a serene environment that encourages healing, growth, and freedom surrounded by nature. You will also be amongst peers on a similar journey as you, with the opportunity to create long-lasting memories and relationships. 

Recovery from substance abuse disorder is possible with evidence-based treatment plans that use therapeutic modalities such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and other therapeutic and holistic approaches to treatment. To learn more about how you can begin treatment, call Hawaii Island Recovery, a Hawaii sober living and recovery center located on the Big Island, at (866) 390-5070.