At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge, we offer substance abuse treatment for men and women aged 18 and older. Our programs include a faith-based long-term residential addiction program as well as other options for care. We use a variety of evidence-based treatment programs to help our clients break the cycle of addiction, including dialectical behavior therapy. Contact us today at 844.442.8673 for more information about our addiction treatment programs in Pennsylvania.

people open up in dialectical behavior therapyWhat Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Dialectical behavior therapy or DBT falls under a category of treatment called Cognitive Behavioral Treatment. DBT first proved promising with people who attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts. These patients also had borderline personality disorders.
Dr. Marsha Linehan offered CBT to her clients with suicidal ideations during the 1970s. During her research, Lineham discovered many of her clients had borderline personality disorders. She expanded CBT to alternate her client sessions, alternately focusing on acceptance and change.
As a result, she discovered that both she and her clients could avoid negative thoughts and feelings. This helped Lineham keep the sessions moving forward. Eventually, DBT techniques were adapted to substance abuse treatment and other mental disorders.

The Core Principles of DBT

DBT focuses on therapeutic skills training in recovery, helping individuals cope with extreme emotions that may negatively or dangerously impact their behavior. Our dialectical behavior therapy includes four core components, as detailed below.

Emotional Regulation

The ability to self-regulate your own emotions so they do not control your behaviors or thoughts to the point of causing problems is crucial to not reacting negatively to triggers or resorting to harmful coping mechanisms to distract yourself from them. When these emotions are managed instead of buried, one can live more peacefully.

Distress Tolerance

Replacing harmful coping mechanisms with healthy ones better prepares you for dealing with stress, change, or crisis in a way that is effective and not destructive. Learning acceptance is a huge part of this process.


When you are mindful, you are in the present moment. You’re not dwelling on past mistakes, and you’re not worried about future events. Understanding that both the past and future are entirely out of your control should allow you more freedom to experience the here and now, comfortably and happily.

Improved Communication

Improved communication with yourself and others is vital to getting your needs met and meeting the needs of others. This includes boundary setting, asking for help, asking if others need help, and being open about how you feel.

DBT and Substance Abuse Treatment

At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge, we provide support from medical detox through addiction therapy with specialized programs, including DBT.
Dialectical behavior therapy helps you with the following goals:

  • Reducing withdrawal symptoms
  • Establishing healthy friendships
  • Avoiding situations that trigger abuse
  • Breaking dependencies on drugs and alcohol
  • Engaging in activities that support a drug-free lifestyle

The Effectiveness of DBT in Treating Addiction

DBT assists you in finding healthy ways to deal with anger, depression, and suicidal thoughts. These underlying causes often trigger substance abuse. Thus with DBT, you have a better chance of finishing your program and getting back to a healthy lifestyle. Our qualified counselors invest in your recovery and help you build your confidence in long-term abstinence.

Find Effective Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Pennsylvania

At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge, we use DBT and other therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you raise your self-awareness and overcome addiction for good. We offer treatment programs to help individuals overcome substance abuse. So no matter what substance you or a loved one is struggling with, we can help. For instance, we offer treatment for the following:

  • Alcohol addiction
  • Heroin addiction
  • Opiate addiction

As clients enter treatment, we can help them decide whether intensive outpatient treatment or residential treatment will be the most appropriate level of care to address their addiction issues. So contact us at 844.442.8673 or online to discuss how you can turn your back on drugs and alcohol and lead the life you were meant for.