Drug Rehab in Utah
  Utah Young Adult Treatment Programs
  by NewRoadsTreatment.com

Florida Drug Treatment Director on DBT


florida drug treatment and dbt
What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?

DBT is a therapeutic modality that has roots based in Buddhism practices.  DBT uses a cognitive behavioral approach to raising the awareness of a client.  It helps a client stop running on "auto pilot" and to be more awareness of their behaviors and surroundings.  DBT uses specific assignments and exercises to do this.  The for areas it cover are:

Mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness.


What is the difference between Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

DBT therapy is a structured set of units and topics.  DBT utilizes assignments and other homework.  CBT is more of a talk therapy and looking back to see how different behaviors created an outcome.  DBT gives you skills to build upon even after treatment has completed.  However they can be considered sister therapies because most therapists who use DBT will also use CBT in conjunction during treatment.


How would a normal individual session be structured?

Client shows up on time, if late therapists will have to address why they were late and how it affects the the therapist.  It may be good to start with a mindfulness activity. Therapist asks if the client had completed their homework, go over the homework even if they didn't do the homework, then let the session guide itself to see what the client needed to talk about. The therapist is constantly helping the client see the other side to all views during the session.  The therapist is also quick to use different approaches to help the client stay focused.


What are some examples of the core aspects of DBT - mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness?

Mindfulness- body scan exercise taking time to feel how your body is reacting to a situation.

Emotional regulation- describing the emotions you are feeling, putting words to the emotions

Distress tolerance- self sooth, take a walk by yourself and just walk and notice the beauty of the world

Interpersonal effectiveness- using healthy communication and assertiveness to settle a dispute or difference with someone you are having conflict with.


how does DBT work? How does DBT work in a residential facility as well as how people implement those skills when they leave? Would that be possible?


DBT works in a residential facility by utilizing the four main principles of DBT:
The primacy of the therapeutic relationship

The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important elements of treatment.  The focus of having a strong relationship with a therapist and or counselor is very important.  In a residential setting the client is able to build on that relationship everyday.  The client is able to form a healthy attachment with the therapist while in treatment.  This also models to the client how to have healthy relationships after treatment ends.
A non-judgmental approach

A non-judgment approach allows the client to feel safe while working through extremely hard situations.  If a client feels safe and knows they will not be judged by therapist and other clients, they are more likely to open up and do the work they need to do to get healthy.
Differentiating between effective and ineffective behaviors

In a residential setting a client is able to use different behaviors and get feedback on what works.  The residential setting allows the client to use a trial and error strategy on their behaviors.  If they are using positive behaviors they will learn that they will be gaining more trust and privileges, however if they are using negative behaviors the trust will dissolve and the client will have to work harder to gain the trust back of their peers.
Dialectical thinking

Dialectical thinking is similar to learning to use effective and ineffective behaviors.  Dialectical thinking is always seeing the other side of what is.  In a residential setting using dialectal thinking is used every day.  A client is able to see how other points of view may help them make a decision.  It allows a client to make decisions seeing the other side of the question or a side that they might have not seen.


Is there a difference in how it works in a residential facility as opposed to an outpatient or individual setting?

The only difference is how often they are using the skills.  In an outpatient setting they would be practicing the skills in the everyday world and the residential setting they are trying them out before they use them in the real world.


Many residential drug treatment facilities offer DBT, what separates them?

Many offer DBT, but they may only be teaching one aspect such as mindfulness.  Mindfulness is only one part of DBT, although it is an important part, the other skills are just as important.  A true DBT treatment includes all skills and trained therapists in DBT.  Just because a therapist has read the book on DBT does not qualify them to do DBT. DBT is a very structured form of addiction treatment and it takes practice to truly provide it correctly and conssitently to a client.


How do addicts implement these skills in the real world?

If an addict learns these skills and practices them in treatment, they will become second nature and will use them in their everyday living.  It becomes a way of life for the client.




Please email Corey for any more questions or information at corey@newroadstreatment.com



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