Dialectical Behavior Therapy For Alcohol Rehab & Addiction Treatment

by | Sep 15, 2022

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is used to treat drug abuse and addiction as well as a number of mental illnesses.

 DBT was first designed to assist people with borderline personality disorder and thoughts of suicide. One of the main goals of DBT is to help people gain the confidence and skills they need to deal with stress in a healthy way.

People with mental health problems, like those who have strong emotional outbursts, are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as a way to calm themselves down. DBT is being used more and more in treatment programs at centers that help people with addictions. Some of the main ideas behind DBT, like improving communication skills, coping skills, and self-image, are very important for helping people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol stop using them.

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy For Alcohol Rehab & Addiction Treatment?

DBT is a type of talk therapy that can be done by either:

  • Individual one-on-one therapy sessions 
  • Group therapy sessions
  • Therapy over the phone with a DBT therapist

 DBT is based on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), but it has been changed to help people who have trouble dealing with strong emotions. DBT is used to help people who are having trouble understanding and changing their negative thought patterns. Si x main points make up dialectical behavior therapy, and they all need to work together. We’ll talk more about these below.  

People will learn good, healthy ways to cope with stress and overall emotions that happen every day. This will help them improve their relationships with their loved ones and keep their emotions in check. The goal of dialectical behavioral therapy is to find unhealthy patterns of behavior and feelings and help a person change them and deal with them, especially in social situations. Dialectical behavior therapy is usually given to people who have destructive behaviors, mental health problems or have alcohol and drug dependencies. 

One-On-One Therapy 

In these weekly one-on-one sessions, people learn how to use the DBT skills they’ve learned to deal with real-life problems. ‘Homework’ helps them use the new skills they’ve learned in real-life situations.

This therapy can take place in either an inpatient or outpatient program, and an expert will help to determine which is best for your particular set of circumstances.

Group Therapy 

During group skills sessions, people work on developing new, healthy ways to deal with problems. They do this by actively practicing the new skills. The environment in the DBT group is supportive and encourages good behavior. Outside of the group, each person works to set up their environment in a way that will help them do well.

Telemedicine Therapy 

People can call their therapist between sessions if they need help right away in a challenging situation. This way, they can get help when they need it the most. The main benefit of this kind of telemedicine therapy and the help offered is that it is direct and immediate. This can make a huge difference in a patient’s life, helping them when they are in real-world situations and building on the knowledge they gain through other forms of therapy. 

Benefits Of Inpatient Care

If your doctor finds that you have a severe alcohol use disorder, few friends, an unstable place to live, or other health problems, they may suggest that you go to an inpatient rehab program.

Most of the time licensed alcohol and drug counselors and mental health professionals run these residential programs that offer care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Short-term programs can last from three to six weeks, after which people can get treatment in the community. Long-term programs can last between six and twelve months.

Most inpatient treatment involves:

  • Detox under medical supervision
  • One-on-one therapy
  • Support groups 

This would include DBT if it was deemed appropriate for the patient.

Benefits Of Outpatient Care

If your doctor finds that you have a less severe alcohol use disorder, a strong social network, a stable place to live, and good physical health, they may suggest that you go to an outpatient treatment program.

These programs vary in how long they are and how hard they are, but in general, you can keep doing what you normally do.

Outpatient treatment can include DBT, group counseling, or a 12-step program. Most of the time, these sessions are about teaching people how to stop using drugs, how to deal with stress, how to communicate, and how to set goals. Some people also move from inpatient care to outpatient care after their stay in the hospital. This step-down in care gives the person a good mix of independence, support, and responsibility.

Main Benefits Of DBT

Individuals with exceptionally powerful emotions might benefit from DBT, which is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). DBT is intended to assist people who are struggling to recognize and alter their negative thought patterns. Dialectical behavioral therapy involves a number of essential components that must all function together in order to be effective. Read on to find out more about them. 


Mindfulness is a very important skill that patients will learn in their skill groups. This feeling makes a person try to be present and fully aware of the moment, feel life for what it is, and not live in the years to come. This particular skill is thought of as the foundation. A person taking DBT classes won’t learn any other skills until they have a good handle on being mindful.

Becoming more mindful will help a person accept and deal with any strong or overwhelming feelings they may have to face in their daily lives. Acceptance is a very important part of mindfulness.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

When you have mastered the skill of mindfulness, the next step is to learn how to be effective with other people. Learning how to deal with the people around you, your personal relationships, and the problems that can make a situation stressful.

When you learn how to be effective in your relationships, you’ll know how to disagree with someone or say no to a request or situation without being rude. A person will also learn how to ask for what they want while still having respect for themselves and being able to get along with others.

Distress Tolerance 

In the distress tolerance session, a person will learn how to accept and adapt to change. In this class, you will learn four main techniques that will help you handle any crisis. These will be:

  • Self-soothing 
  • Making the situation less stressful
  • Think about what’s good and bad about the situation
  • Taking your mind off things

To learn acceptance, it’s important to first understand what “radical acceptance” means. Radical acceptance lets you accept that you will have both good and bad things happen to you in your life. Still, you will learn how to look at these situations without judging them, which means you will learn how to accept the results no matter what the problem is. Mindfulness, which was the first skill mentioned, is a big part of this set of skills. 

Emotional Regulation 

Emotion regulation is the last set of skills that will be taught. This technique is very important to learn. If you are an intense person, it can be hard to learn to control your emotions, but with the right help, you can do anything. Emotion regulation sessions are great for people who are often overwhelmed by the following feelings:

  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration

People who often feel very strong negative emotions will benefit from learning how to control and manage their feelings. Once a patient has learned how to deal with their feelings, they are less likely to feel bad about things that are completely out of their control. 

The Effectiveness of DBT

When a person has trouble with alcoholism, one of the reasons behind it is often that they have trouble controlling their emotions. Chemicals that change the way the mind works make it possible to run away from painful feelings instead of facing them. Alcoholism and mental illness that hasn’t been diagnosed often go hand in hand, and drinking can be a way to try to ease the symptoms of mental health problems.

DBT can give people the skills they need to control painful feelings and deal with everyday problems without using drugs. Using the skills taught in DBT, you can calm down stormy emotions and replace bad habits with healthy ways to deal with problems.

 By using the skills they’ve learned in DBT, people who have used drugs in the past can reduce their cravings and figure out what sets them off to use.

 DBT uses positive reinforcement to keep people interested in making changes. Strengths are emphasized, and new ways to deal with problems are practiced over and over again. This helps reduce self-destructive or dangerous behaviors. It’s a way to help people feel like they’re being heard as they deal with hard or complicated problems.

If you feel you could benefit from this kind of therapy, or you want to discuss your options, it’s best to find a professional clinic that can help you, answer your questions, and set you on the road to recovery.

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