Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

At one point or another, many who suffer from poor mental health have experienced it. “You need to make a change. When are you just going to snap out of it?” Many people can’t accept the reality of a mental health disorder, mostly because they’ve never experienced what it’s like. What these people need is actually the opposite of immediate change. What they need is validation, but validation can be tricky. That’s why our programs here at Northbound Treatment Services are equipped to handle not just addiction treatment, but mental and behavioral health disorders.

An overabundance of people telling somebody they just need to change is rather dangerous for their progress, but so is an overabundance of validation. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) manages the balance between those two polar opposites of acceptance and change. It is an integration of two vastly different methods of healing. 

It’s imperative that patients and therapists alike are approaching treatment with the goal of balance in mind. Otherwise, both parties will likely become too frustrated to continue. In fact, in some cases of DBT, patients have completely dropped therapy as a result of their frustration. Dialectical behavior therapy, in a nutshell, aims to prevent that frustration by bringing together their change of behavior and acceptance of reality while focusing on identifying their strengths.

Why Therapy?

Our goal at Northbound is that every patient who walks through here gets the necessary care they deserve. This is why dialectical behavior therapy is such an important part of the therapeutic process. Our rehab program will help patients who are living with mental illness to move past their distress. In addition to this, our program will help to encourage a strong support system to surround our clients. Recovery from poor mental health is a difficult task, and it’s even more difficult when someone doesn’t have the right tools at their disposal.

Nobody, including patients who have mental health disorders, wants to feel isolated. The thought of going through a disorder like depression alone is a scary one. The right support system surrounding them can make all the difference; that’s what our team at Northbound can provide. Once these patients feel supported, validated, and strengthened, it makes the therapeutic process much less burdensome. DBT helps people feel as though they can trust our therapists and be vulnerable and open with them when the time comes. 

Our aim is for our patients to make strides of positive mental health in their lives and homes. We understand that each individual should know and feel that their lives truly mean something. Each person should be able to experience emotional, mental, and physical health. We work to make sure our patients do just that. 

The reality of mental illness can be terrifying, but DBT will help patients that struggle with extreme suicidal thoughts or other irrational thought behavior. We believe that coming alongside our patients to mend the gap between acceptance and change will have a positive impact on everybody that walks through our doors.

What Is DBT?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a therapeutic technique that integrates two polar opposite schools of thought in order to help patients manage mental illnesses. Some components of DBT include the following:

  • Skills Training – Patients learn communication skills and coping mechanisms to help them along in their daily lives. Sessions typically last two hours, once a week for 24 weeks.
  • Individualized Therapy – Held weekly throughout the duration of the program, individualized therapy helps patients prepare to apply their skills training to the real world. These sessions depend on and are subject to the patient’s unique personality.
  • Phone Coaching – Patients have the ability to call their therapists outside of scheduled sessions to help them in times of great difficulty.
  • Team Consultation – Consultations provided to therapists to help them stay motivated in order to help their patients arrive at the correct state of mental well-being. 

Dialectical behavior therapy, in short, is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Originally, it was used to treat patients who had a borderline personality disorder. However, it has made strides in treating other illnesses since then. These other mental health disorders include depression, substance abuse, and PTSD. The main goal is to identify a patient’s thought processes that support their worldview. Another aim of DBT is to make certain that the patient and therapists are on the same level of trust, as well as their friends, family, and support system surrounding them. 

To be able to recover from a mental disorder, there are some things that must happen. First and foremost, a person who is struggling with depressive thoughts or any sort of mental disorder needs to arrive at a place where they can accept the world for the way it is. By the same token, they also need to arrive at a place where they accept that there is something that needs to change and then act upon changing it. DBT does a great job of bridging this gap.

DBT and Substance Abuse

Professionals often recommend DBT to those who are struggling with substance abuse. The aim is to allow therapists to help dually diagnosed patients in times of emotional distress. This therapeutic technique can help patients learn communication skills and coping mechanisms. These tools can help individuals to progress and move forward on their road to recovery. 

A particular circumstance in which an addict might require DBT might be if their quality of life was deteriorating as a result of drug or alcohol usage. Not only that, but some may need to relearn skillful behavior. This will enable them to practice these skills even outside of life in treatment. With the help of DBT, people can learn to neglect the harmful behaviors that brought them to treatment in the first place. 

How Do I Know When to Start?

It may be time to start dialectical behavioral therapy if yourself or a loved one suffer from the following:

When dealing with a mental or behavioral disorder, it can be difficult to discern as to when it’s time to take action. Sometimes, motivation can be affected by depression, and it can be difficult to even seek help when you know you need it. 

The best thing to do is get in touch as soon as possible, whether that’s through an online form or even a phone call. Living with a mental or behavioral illness is difficult, and it affects every aspect of your life. But when you enter our treatment programs, you will be treated with the best care to meet your unique needs. 

What’s Next?

Here at Northbound Treatment Services, we work to help those who struggle with a mental or behavioral disorder. Our team strives to provide the best available care so that we can guide them towards a state of mental stability. The goal here at Northbound is to hear and understand each patient, not alienate them. This sort of treatment requires a vast amount of gentle care so that our patients fulfill their potential of healing.

Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, but our dialectical behavior therapy program does lay a foundation for a healthy state of mind going forward. There are even therapists outside of our facilities that can help patients keep their heads above water when they complete their DBT. 

Mental health and behavioral disorders have the power to negatively impact the daily life of those who suffer. In fact, not only are the patients suffering, but so are their families and close friends. These disorders can tear apart relationships and cause discord among loved ones.

At Northbound, we believe in walking next to those who struggle with behavioral or mental disorders. We desire to encourage and support them so that they can function healthily amongst others. Sometimes, however, treating patients can be difficult due to the unique needs of each individual. Thankfully, our DBT program at Northbound is equipped to handle even the most complex of circumstances. 

We want to bring each patient that walks through our doors to a state of mental stability. The way we do this is by empowering patients and bridging the gap between acceptance and change. Throughout their time here, mentally ill patients will be attended to with the utmost care. 

We are determined to assist our patients who struggle with mental illness to exceptional long-term health and well-being so that what they’ve learned and practiced with DBT can continue on with them for their day-to-day lives. You can contact us here, or call us at  (866) 311-0003.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2963469/

https://depts.washington.edu/uwbrtc/about-us/dialectical-behavior-therapy/

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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