Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Access Dialectical Behavioral Therapy on Long Island

What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), created by Marsha Linehan, an American psychologist in the 1970s, is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy that uses a dialectical approach. The dialectical approach refers to the use of methods such as discussion, listening, and counseling to treat mental, emotional, personality, and behavioral disorders.

Dialectical behavioral therapy is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and many therapists tailor it for people with extreme emotional sensitivity. DBT aids you in doing two things: understanding and accepting your challenging emotions. Patients in need of addiction treatment often benefit from DBT.

The DBT treatment approach helps those suffering from addiction learn valuable skills, including self-awareness, social and relational effectiveness, tolerance of distress, and managing intense emotions. DBT also emphasizes modifying one’s routine and environment to facilitate enhanced recovery from addiction.

Use our guide on DBT for addiction to learn more about this treatment approach and how you can use it to help you overcome your issues with addiction.

How Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Works

Generally speaking, underlying issues like mental health symptoms and negative thought patterns fuel substance use problems. DBT addresses both of these issues. After a single DBT session, you’ll have a much better understanding of your drug or alcohol dependency, including what triggers it and how to avoid those triggers.

The foundation of DBT usually focuses on strengthening skills and is based on the following set of principles below:

Biosocial theory

  • DBT’s biosocial theory states that a person’s patterns of emotional regulation form when they are emotionally sensitive; these patterns readily develop into negative habits when the person lives in and regularly interacts with an invalidating atmosphere.

Validation and acceptance

  • People with invalidating backgrounds greatly benefit from DBT. It’s about learning to accept and understand others for who they are. With DBT, a therapist will acknowledge and respect your feelings, thought processes, and life events, and you’ll also learn to respect them.This does not imply that a therapist who uses DBT condones harmful actions. It simply means that they consider your feelings and try to be sympathetic while providing training that helps you develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Controlling your emotions

  • When you struggle with mental health issues, keeping your emotions in check and controlling your temper is usually difficult. DBT encourages the decrease of self-injury, suicidal ideation, inpatient admissions, feelings of hopelessness, depression, dissociation, anger, and impulsivity.DBT therapy allows you to recognize your feelings, provide them with a label and eventually alter them by using DBT skills like self-awareness and mindfulness skills.

Altering your behaviors

  • The consequences of engaging in self-destructive actions are usually devastating. DBT counselors use behavioral principle concepts to help you understand and change self-destructive behaviors; the counselors can assist in pinpointing the triggers for these behaviors.Even if you want to improve, the circumstances leading up to these habits may act as roadblocks. DBT aims to help you improve your relationships with others and how you handle stressful or upsetting events. DBT focuses on the client learning new skills and altering their behaviors to achieve a “life worth living.”

Effectiveness in social interactions

  • Developing your interpersonal effectiveness abilities will remarkedly improve your relationships. DBT helps you refine and strengthen your ability to treat others with respect, treat yourself with self-respect, develop communication skills, and cope with individuals you don’t always get along with.

Dealing with stress

  • Some people with mental health diagnoses report experiencing skewed perceptions of reality, medically called cognitive distortions. Some examples of common cognitive distortions are exaggerating risks, making broad assumptions, failing to consider nuance, and more.Developing your distress tolerance helps you calm yourself by practicing sensory techniques when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Distraction and radical acceptance are primary techniques taught in DBT that increase your ability to tolerate discomfort.

Benefits of DBT in Drug Rehabilitation

Successful DBT improves how patients cope with difficult situations and everyday challenges. It helps them develop the ability to imagine, express, pursue, and maintain objectives different from their histories of erratic behavior, such as drug misuse. Several academic institutions have conducted randomized controlled trials  to test the efficacy of DBT. These trials discovered DBT’s effectiveness in reductions of:

  • Emotional dysregulation, which results in self-injurious behaviors such as suicidal behaviors or Suicide attempts, and self-harm
  • Hospitalizations or Emergency room visits

DBT is also commonly used for:

  • Treatments for Drug addiction
  • Binge Eating disorders (Bulimia nervosa, Anorexia nervosa)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

If your mental health symptoms affect your quality of life, health, or relationships, DBT may be a valuable option.

Patients with severe co-occurring disorders and those who have not responded to existing evidence-based substance use disorder treatments may benefit from DBT therapy. Since its inception, DBT has consistently proven itself as the most successful community-based behavioral therapy technique for treating patients, especially adolescents with borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Can DBT Help Treat Drug Addiction and Co-Occuring Mental Health Problems?

Patients and doctors must deal with additional dangers and difficulties when drug use occurs with BPD, which causes many therapists to adapt their DBT approaches. The adapted intervention usually incorporates dialectical abstinence, certain medications, and a set of attachment techniques to encourage and establish a strong therapeutic relationship.

Another notable study discovered that women with borderline personality disorder and drug use benefit from 12 months of DBT. Study participants reported less drug misuse throughout the research and the four-month follow-up.

Therapists frequently combine DBT with other treatment methods to treat those with substance use disorders. They do this because those suffering from addiction often suffer from a co-occurring disorder, like BPD or ADHD, that requires tailored treatment approaches. In those with ADHD, studies show combining DBT with transcranial direct current stimulation proved significantly effective in improving neurophysiological and psychological symptoms.

Locating DBT Services in Long Island

Long Island offers a diverse and wide range of DBT service providers. To locate the best DBT services for your needs, ask your family physician for a list of treatment centers and medical professionals offering DBT treatment. You can also check with the local health department, friends, family, and employer.

Overview of Available DBT Resources in Long Island

DBT’s components include individual therapy sessions, group therapy, DBT skills training, phone coaching, and a consultation team of therapists, making it a treatment program rather than a single treatment.

Here are the different forms of available DBT services in Long Island include:

  • Group Therapy – DBT therapists will teach you techniques in a group environment during these sessions. This shouldn’t be mistaken as a group therapy session but a series of instructional sessions.
  • Individual Counseling – DBT individual therapy focuses on increasing client motivation and assisting clients in applying behavioral skills to adapt to specific life challenges. It primarily focuses on motivational issues, including the motivation to stay alive, to stay in treatment, and motivate to change.
  • Outpatient Programs– DBT IOP is often used to treat those who have attempted standard outpatient treatment and require more care. The DBT IOP also addresses individuals who have more severe symptoms that standard outpatient treatment may not be able to manage as quickly.
  • Partial Hospitalization
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Dual Diagnosis (for co-occurring mental health disorders)

How To Find Reputable DBT Therapists and Clinics

Always seek recommendations for reputable DBT therapists and clinics. Choosing a service provider with experience in DBT therapy is wise because this method differs from others and will ensure you receive quality treatment that helps you and doesn’t worsen your mental health condition(s). The Long Island Treatment Center employs a skilled team of mental health professionals, such as physicians, licensed clinicians, and registered nurses, to perform all of our DBT services.

What to Consider when Choosing a DBT Therapist

When left untreated, substance addiction disorder has the same grim prognosis as other mental illnesses like BPD-fatality. And unfortunately, a lack of access to quality treatment contributes to drug overdose and suicide. This is why choosing a treatment program with licensed DBT medical professionals is so important. Always keep the following tips in mind when selecting a DBT therapist:

Necessary licenses and credentials

Licensed professionals in the field of intervention make it their life’s work to aid addicts and their families in their search for helpful and successful treatment. Getting help from qualified and licensed specialists with DBT experience also improves the likelihood of positive results since they have the medical expertise and knowledge needed to help you get to the bottom of what’s driving your addiction or alcoholism.

Client testimonials and reviews

In addition to searching for licensed professionals to provide your DBT treatment, you should research client testimonials and reviews. This will help you verify and choose a treatment center that has already helped people with addiction issues. Use this link to research and read reviews in Long Island Treatment Center.

Personal comfort and rapport with the therapist

It’s just as important to find a therapist you’re comfortable with as it is to find one with licensure. April DiGiulio, a former Long Island Treatment Center patient, says, “Coming here changed my life for the better. I can never thank the entire staff enough for helping me live the life I deserve. I was greeted with welcome arms and kindness from the start. Marisa was awesome! If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to seek help here; you are never judged. “Coming here was the best decision I ever made.”

Long Island Treatment Center’s Approach to DBT

At Long Island Treatment Center, you can access DBT services through a variety of formats, some of which include:

To become certified in DBT, a person must first become a licensed counselor, therapist, psychologist, or social worker. They then have to pass an exam and partake in documented clinical work. This means you can feel confident that all of our DBT professionals at Long Island Treatment Center have the training and experience needed to help you overcome your addiction.

Preparing for DBT

Are you ready to use DBT to treat your addiction? When you contact or arrive at the Long Island Treatment Center, you’ll complete an intake process that thoroughly investigates your addiction and treatment needs. This allows one of our licensed professionals to develop a treatment plan tailored to your addiction and any co-occurring illnesses.

During intake, you’ll get assessed for the following types of treatment:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Trauma recovery therapy
  • Motivational enhancement therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy

The intake specialist will document the severity of your addiction and recommend one or a combination of the following:

Expectations in a Typical DBT Session

During a typical DBT one-on-one session, you will concentrate on your relationships. You’ll likely do therapeutic homework, including role-playing exercises and coping skill drills. You and your therapist will work closely together to accomplish all of this.

Continued Support and Resources After DBT Treatment

Even though DBT programs usually have an end date, ongoing therapy can benefit patients. Many patients find group and individual counseling sessions helpful. Finishing DBT is paramount to its overall effectiveness, with some studies reporting up to 86% of people staying in remission for up to a year after treatment. The same study also said that 56% of those people were still in remission for at least another six months.

Why Choose Long Island Treatment Center in New York For Your Addiction Therapy

Accessing DBT at the Long Island Treatment Center can help decrease the physical discomfort you experience when withdrawing from drugs and alcohol. As our team of skilled medical professionals enables you to create and enforce boundaries necessary for staying clean, you’ll learn how to avoid impulses, urges, and temptations to use again.

By recognizing your emotions, no matter how unpleasant they feel, our DBT services can help you better regulate and move through negative thoughts and feelings. Our therapists will walk with you as you learn to accept what you can’t change and take action on what you can, which is essential for establishing stability and finding freedom from your addiction.

Please call Long Island Treatment Center today for more information about the benefits of DBT for substance use disorder.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Long Island Treatment Center