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Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

note reading mindfulness in front of window attempting to understanding dialectical behavior therapy

For individuals struggling with substance use disorder or a mental health issue, talk therapy can be one of the most effective forms of treatment. In working with professional counselors and therapists, individuals can learn the underlying causes of their addiction as well as the triggers facing them while providing new means to cope. Similarly, individuals struggling with mental health issues such as depression, grief, trauma, or behavioral addictions like gambling benefit from it. One of the most frequently used and effective forms of talk therapy is dialectical behavior therapy or DBT. Thus, understanding dialectical behavior therapy can give you or a loved one a better awareness of the kinds of treatment needed to heal and recover from either substance use disorder or mental health issues.

Integrative Life Center believes in treating the whole person. For us, this means addressing not just physical issues but emotional, mental, and spiritual ones as well. Dialectical behavior therapy is one way we do so.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Our dialectical behavior therapy in Nashville (DBT) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy where clients learn new skills that help them observe their emotions in stressful moments, instead of reacting to them. The skills focus on the areas of mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions.

Dialectical behavior therapy assumes that people are doing their best but lack the skills needed to succeed, or are influenced by positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement that interferes with their ability to function appropriately. Dialectical behavior therapy is now used in a variety of psychological treatments including treatment for depression, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries, binge-eating disorder, and mood disorders. DBT emphasizes individual psychotherapy and group skills training classes to help people learn and use new skills and strategies to develop a life that they experience as worth living.

The Components of DBT

The goal of dialectical behavior therapy is to help clients build a life that they experience as worth living. In DBT, the client and the therapist work together to set goals that are meaningful to the client. Often this means they work on ways to decrease harmful behaviors and replace them with effective, life-enhancing behaviors. Like cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy has a number of steps or stages. However, with dialectic behavioral therapy there are five components that work together that make up a standard DBT program:

  1. Enhance Capabilities with DBT Skills Training
  2. Enhance Motivation with Individual Therapy
  3. Ensure Generalization with Coaching
  4. Structure the Environment with Case Management
  5. Support Therapists with the DBT Consultation Team

Understanding Dialectical Behavior Therapy At Integrative Life Center

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy assumes that effective treatment, including group skills training, must pay equal attention to the behavior and experience of providers working with clients as it does to clients’ behavior and experience. Our trained clinicians practice these skills themselves in order to deliver the best treatment possible. We use DBT as one of several talk therapies and treatments in our programs. For example, patients will be able to get access to these in any of the following programs:

Also, we provide telehealth services that provide the same high level of care as face-to-face mental health sessions. So, if you believe you are in need of this kind of treatment, contact us today at 615.378.8806.

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