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August 15, 2022

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy For Alcohol Abuse: An Overview

For someone who has been dealing with alcohol & drug abuse, the struggle of returning to normal life is never easy. Addiction can impact relationship, social status, and can take a toll on the person’s mental health. If you have a loved one who is struggling with alcohol & drug abuse and has mental health issues, you may seek help for them. In many cases, doctors and therapists use what is known as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Here is an overview of DBT at a glance.

The basics

If you know about mental health, you have probably heard about cognitive behavioral therapy, also called CBT. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT and is greatly useful for dual disorders. The purpose of CBT is to change negative patterns of thought and allow a person to perceive and bring positive changes in their behavior. In case you want to get help for alcohol and drug addiction, or someone you know needs medical assistance, you may refer them to a clinic that focus on DBT. Dialectical behavioral therapy is particularly useful in treating self-destructive behavioral patterns, and therefore, can be of great use for patients who are dealing with substance, alcohol or drug abuse.

How does it work?

Dialectical behavioral therapy focuses on allowing the patient to accept their current state and bring in change, and hence the word “dialectical” is used. DBT typically consists of four parts. The first part is about individual therapy, where patients work directly with therapists. The second part is group skill training, which is again used actively to bring a change in behavior. The third and fourth aspect is phone coaching and interaction with a consultation group. Just like with other types of CBT, patients are given homework during DBT, and they are often asked to note their emotions and mention their thoughts in detail.

Things to know

Initially, DBT was used extensively for treating patients suffering from borderline personality disorder, or suicidal behavior. However, it has proved to be extremely helpful for patients dealing with substance abuse, or those who have dual disorders. DBT not only brings positive changes in behavior, but aids in controlling anger and anxiety. Also, patients are less likely to leave treatment in between, because of the way DBT works.

Check with a known clinic to know more on DBT and if it can help someone you know, especially a person with mental health issues and alcohol abuse.

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