Addiction treatment is not the same for everyone. While some people benefit from traditional talk and group therapies, others need more innovative styles of treatment. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) helps develop skills to identify and manage difficult emotions. For people who struggle with addictions, this approach significantly benefits individuals in developing healthy behaviors and establishing more effective mindsets.

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a unique style of therapy that focuses on the relationship between an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This form of therapy originally treated individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) who were non-responsive to traditional forms of talk therapy. Treatment providers noticed the similarities in emotional dysregulation between individuals with BPD, dual diagnoses, and addictions. With this knowledge, they began implementing DBT education and skills training into the addiction treatment services so patients were empowered to be more effective at managing difficult emotions.

In DBT, clients work with therapists to define goals for the skills they need to develop. Many people struggling with addiction act out in impulsively damaging or even emotionally harsh ways that further destroy their relationships and recovery.

For example, when faced with a stressful situation, a person with an addiction may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb their emotions instead of using healthier coping mechanisms. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy helps individuals take time to evaluate their current problems, develop a healthy course of action, and practice recovery skills to implement in the real world. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy empowers the individual to effectively manage difficult and uncomfortable emotions with confidence.

women in dialectical behavioral therapy dbt first step center

What to Expect in DBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has two components: group education and group skills training. The First Step Center therapists present topically tailored education sessions which establish the foundation for the skills training groups.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy education and skills groups are designed in four modules:

  • Mindfulness
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Emotion regulation
  • Distress tolerance

Working in a group setting helps clients recognize their behavior and receive support from others with similar unhealthy patterns. Likewise, clients can provide support for others who are going through similar situations. A group setting also facilitates the creation of recovery minded relationships they can rely on while in treatment.

Therapy Services at The First Step Center

At the First Step Center of Scottsdale, Arizona, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is just one of many addiction therapy services offered. Our comprehensive mental health programs provide a range of integrated therapy services, including:

  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • 12 Step support and Smart Recovery
  • Family Meal and Nutrition support
  • Professional business centers on site
  • Trauma therapy
  • Brain therapy
  • Sports and Activities therapy and recreation

If you are or your loved one is ready to take their first steps in recovery, call First Step Center of Scottsdale, Arizona. We are ready to guide you in making those first steps to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Contact First Step Center today at 866.832.6398.