One of the most effective therapies for treating a substance use disorder is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). This behavioral therapy was developed in the 1980s and inspired by cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It was originally intended for severe mental health disorders. However, it soon became clear that DBT was effective for addiction as well. A Pennsylvania dialectical behavior therapy program can be found at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC), where our experienced, trained mental health and addiction clinicians provide a range of evidence-based treatments.
Many people are curious about addiction therapies, wondering what is DBT or how long does DBT take? To find out about the length of DBT, how it works to secure your recovery, and any other questions about DBT or addiction treatment in general, reach out to PAATC today. Our online form is one way to connect, or you can call 844.442.8673.
What Is DBT?
DBT is a therapeutic modality focusing on acceptance while making room for transformation. You may think that accepting things as they are, such as difficult feelings, cravings, emotional discomfort, painful memories, or beliefs, stands in contrast to wanting to create change. However, a dialectical reality is one that simultaneously allows for and contains opposites.
The four pillars of DBT are:
- Mindfulness – In DBT, a practice of mindfulness is central to each step. Being present and accepting what is becomes an affirming and healthy lifelong habit. This first pillar of DBT enables the other three, which follow.
- Distress tolerance – People often use drugs and alcohol to avoid facing setbacks and difficult emotions. In recovery, you will need to learn how to tolerate these things and view them not so much as bad or negative but as challenges that you can face and process.
- Emotional regulation – As you learn to tolerate distress, you also learn to manage your emotions. This does not mean that you do not feel emotions deeply. It simply means that rather than your emotions riding roughshod over you, you can feel them, address them, and put them into a healthy perspective.
- Interpersonal effectiveness – This piece refers to your personal relationships and your ability to interact effectively with anyone in any context. Interpersonal relationships are often early casualties of addiction. Learning to tolerate distress and regulate emotions leads directly to developing interpersonal effectiveness. Communications become meaningful and effective, and lashing out with ultimatums or words that cannot be unspoken becomes less likely, making true equilibrium within your relationships possible.
How Long Is DBT?
When it comes to DBT length of treatment, you may be pleased to know that this mode of therapy is both goal-oriented and time-limited. Unlike many other forms of therapy, DBT starts with a goal of completion within six months, though individual circumstances will affect how long DBT takes.
The pillars of DBT involve four separate modules, with mindfulness practice woven through them all. Some things that might prolong the treatment beyond six months are:
- A history of trauma
- Past relapses
- A co-occurring mental health disorder
- Poly-substance use disorder
Learn More at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
At PAATC, whether you enroll in an outpatient or inpatient rehab program, you can benefit from DBT. Since its development forty years ago, this treatment has gained enormous traction in the fields of mental health and addiction recovery.
Don’t wait to find out more about the length of DBT or how this cutting-edge treatment can help you establish lifelong patterns of behavior for lasting recovery and a healthier, happier you. We love talking to people about our programs and offerings. Call 844.442.8673 today to ask us about DBT, or you can submit our online form.