Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Drug Addiction Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a well-established treatment modality for individuals with substance use disorders and/or mental health disorders. As with other addiction treatment models, DBT drug addiction treatment is designed to promote abstinence from drugs and alcohol and to reduce the occurrence, length, and adverse impact of relapse. DBT is an evidence-based form of psychotherapy derived from the well-known and widely used cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Developed by psychologist Dr. Marsha Linehan and her colleagues in the 1980s, dialectical behavior therapy components are based on treating high-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse, mental illness, and even suicidal ideation. Keep reading to learn how our Sebring drug rehab supports our clients with their recovery through the use of DBT.

How DBT Works

The DBT approach is multidimensional and comprehensive. This modality aims to help participants learn skills needed to change unhelpful thoughts or behaviors that are linked to their substance use or mental health disorders. DBT therapists teach critical skills by modeling, providing guidance, storytelling, offering feedback, and coaching.

Therapists that administer dialectical behavior therapy for substance abusers at our Sebring, FL, drug rehab use a variety of strategies and techniques to do this, such as:

  • Distress tolerance: This aspect of DBT drug addiction treatment teaches individuals to accept discomfort and negative emotions. For individuals who experience distress or crisis, the implementation of learned techniques like distraction and self-soothing empowers our patients to positively cope with intense emotions that would otherwise contribute to self-destructive behaviors like drug or alcohol use or self-harm.
  • Emotional regulation: This technique focuses on identifying and changing negative emotional responses to tough situations. By helping DBT patients recognize and cope with intense negative emotions and act differently, our therapists can help them have more positive experiences and avoid relapsing or turning to harmful behaviors to self-medicate.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: This aspect of DBT for addiction helps clients repair, maintain, and establish healthy relationship behaviors, which also includes ending toxic or negative ones. This strategy teaches assertiveness to help individuals create and enforce healthy boundaries with others and learn how to communicate their needs effectively.
  • Mindfulness: Mindfulness is at the core of DBT for substance abuse treatment. Participants learn how to practice awareness by mastering observation. Clients receiving this form of therapy learn how to be more aware of their feelings, thoughts, sensations, impulses, and environments. Being aware helps them learn how to slow down and focus on using healthy coping skills when challenged.

Components of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

DBT for substance use utilizes four key components, including:1,2

  • Individual Therapy: This consists of one-on-one sessions with therapists in which clients learn to apply DBT skills to real-life challenges. Patients may also receive homework that encourages them to practice these skills at home.
  • Group Therapy: Group therapy sessions allow clients to work with their peers on developing and applying new coping skills. All DBT groups offer supportive and positive environments to ensure clients feel welcomed, safe, and able to learn.
  • Phone Coaching: For immediate help during challenging situations, DBT participants can contact our therapists to get support.
  • Consultation: To ensure that our therapists feel supported and validated as they care for our patients, a therapist consultation team meets consistently to ensure that our professionals implement effective treatment in challenging situations.

Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Addiction

According to research, dialectical behavior therapy is effective in treating substance use disorders as well as mental illness or co-occurring disorders.3 An addiction focused DBT approach helps individuals commit to abstinence and motivates them to change through various activities and techniques. DBT drug addiction treatment also treats relapse as a problem to solve, allowing therapists to individually assess a client’s relapse for its causes and some effective solutions.

Our dialectical behavior therapy offered at our drug rehab in Sebring, FL, comes with various benefits, including:

  • A decrease in discomfort associated with withdrawal symptoms
  • A decrease in substance use
  • A decrease in substance-related cravings and temptations
  • Avoiding triggers and other events that could lead to substance use or relapse
  • Creating and enforcing healthy boundaries necessary for maintaining sobriety
  • Improving healthy interpersonal relationships through community
  • Reducing problematic behaviors that contribute to drug and alcohol abuse

Finding Dialectical Behavior Therapy Near Me

Our DBT therapists are specifically trained to provide effective treatment. If you are searching for DBT for yourself or a loved one, our facility can help. As one of few rehab centers in Sebring, FL, Banyan is proud to say that we offer a multitude of addiction therapy services that support long-term sobriety, including dialectical behavior therapy.

For more information about our Sebring drug treatment and how to get started, contact Banyan Treatment Centers today.


  1. NIH - Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  2. NIH - Dialectical behavior therapy as treatment for borderline personality disorder
  3. The American Journal of Psychotherapy - The Course and Evolution of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Related Reading:

Using The DBT Stop Skill for Recovery

What Does Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Treat?