During dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), you can discover essential skills which will enable you to manage the impulses that lead to substance abuse, as well as become better at managing mental health challenges. At Sanctuary Lodge, we create a safe environment to practice regulating your emotions. Group and individual sessions reinforce self-management techniques and accountability.

Dr Marsha M. Linehan, who broke the ground on this type of therapy, (1) lived with a mental health disorder and started developing techniques to help herself cope with stress and trauma. Over the years, she began incorporating the concepts in her practice. Since then, DBT has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including substance abuse, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, eating disorders and thoughts leading to self-harm.

How Does DBT Work?

You maybe need a dynamic treatment tool for handling your emotions and controlling undesired thoughts. Dialectical behaviour therapy provides an appropriate platform to address substance abuse and co-occurring mental health conditions. Finding out how DBT can impact your substance abuse disorder (2) helps you appreciate the process and remain engaged in your therapy sessions.

DBT focuses on accepting your experience as a first step. Letting go of negative emotions frees you, giving you the ability and new power to work on reaching your goals, realising your dreams and building a new, healthier relationship with life.

While undergoing individual and group therapy, you have the opportunity to practice new skills. To prepare for sessions, you might fill out a diary to write down your emotions, urges, negative behaviours. This “homework” captures both good and bad feelings and records how you dealt with them.

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dbt compoments

Components of DBT

DBT is broken down into four stages (3). The therapists here at Sanctuary Lodge use these known practices in order to help you feel better and more confident in yourself:

  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Skills training group
  • Coaching as needed between sessions
  • Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and knowledge to be as helpful as it is possible for your recovery

Individual therapy sessions

DBT individual therapy is designed to help you to find the motivation to apply the skills you acquire into your daily life. During these sessions, you and your therapists would discuss and tackle specific challenges. You would meet with a therapist one-to-one for about an hour. This session is meant to work in conjunction with your skill-training and all other therapies included in your treatment programme. The length of the meetings and the frequency would vary depending on your specific needs.

Group skills training

During skills training, you would expand your ability to cope with difficulties in life by tackling different situations, both real and possible ones alongside your therapist. Eventually, you may get assignments that would help you to solidify these skills and record your success.

  • Mindfulness: This technique helps you stay in the moment and recognise that you affect your life by having control over every decision. You keep a diary to reflect on successful and challenging moments and how you feel about them.
  • Distress tolerance: This is a part of the therapy which would focus on, if deemed necessary for your rehabilitation, reframing events to understand what’s happening in the present moment. This skill involves self-soothing techniques to stay calm under duress.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Discussions focus on setting goals and determining your needs while prioritising self-respect and positive relationships.
  • Emotional regulation: learn about the paths to understanding and changing the way you feel, which improves your mental outlook and encourages positive actions.

Coaching as needed between sessions

DBT out-of-session coaching gives you a way to receive support between sessions, as well as outside of the rehab programme. Together with your therapist, you review ways to cope with stressful situations as they arise.

The Benefits of DBT for Addiction Treatment

There are many advantages (5) to incorporating DBT into drug addiction treatment programmes. The skills you will learn about are directly applicable to your daily life, and useful when others ask you for advice. This newly gained skillset would help you develop a deeper understanding of the healing process.
Here are just some of the benefits of dialectical behaviour therapy: (6)

  • Learn practical skills that improve every area of life
  • Highly structured program
  • Provides a supportive environment with non-judgemental therapists and peers
  • You and your therapist work together toward more positive thoughts and actions
  • You get to practice the skills during therapy

DBT creates a framework to process stress in a healthy way, which helps prevent thoughts and feelings that trigger substance abuse.

DBT and dual diagnosis

DBT is ideal for those working through dual diagnosis. Drug and alcohol abuse is often related to underlying mental and emotional disorders that must be addressed for true healing to occur. Studies show that using DBT to treat substance abuse disorder along with mental health conditions can improve your upcoming sober life.

We ensure our clients with dual diagnoses get a multilevel treatment that addresses drug and alcohol abuse as well as emotional and mental disorders. This transformative therapy approach has been found to improve outcomes significantly..

Who Will Be Providing DBT Sessions?

A trained psychotherapist will be part of the team, which will conduct both group and individual DBT sessions. At Sanctuary Lodge, we hire professionals with compassion and the relevant qualifications to serve our clients. This includes the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy registrations. BACP therapists are always part of our treatment planning and realisation. (7)

Our licensed therapists integrate DBT into both the comprehensive inpatient programmes and the aftercare sessions, so you receive this practical training no matter at which step of the treatment process you currently are. Under the guidance of experienced professionals, you have the opportunity to examine your life and find better ways to identify, accept and cope with behaviours that are holding you back.

Chat or talk to our addiction experts today to get started on your journey to health and wellness.

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