Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Emotional vulnerability can lead people to feel threatened in non-threatening social situations. In dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), the patient and therapist engage in dialogue that builds mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal skills. Dialectical behavior therapy incorporates a broad spectrum of strategies such as self-monitoring, individual and group therapy, skills training, and impulse control to help clients manage their emotions and behaviors. This treatment modality is effective in treating a range of psychological concerns that relate to substance use disorder.

When it comes to treating addiction, people greatly benefit from access to effective addiction therapy programs that help them change self-destructive habits. That’s where a dialectical behavior therapy program in Florida can help. With this type of therapy, patients can learn to cope with stress in healthy ways while living in the moment. The goals of DBT include the following:

  • Targeting the reduction of life-threatening behavior
  • Increasing effective emotional experiencing
  • Improving interpersonal communication skills
  • Building impulse control and self-regulation
  • Distinguishing between actual vs. perceived stress

What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) designed to motivate people to change destructive behaviors and regulate their emotions. Unlike other forms of CBT, though, it focuses more heavily on emotional and social aspects.

How Does DBT Work?

Dialectical behavior therapy can be one of the most successful treatment modalities for people struggling with a range of mental health conditions. It helps people learn how to manage and regulate emotions, interact with others, and control impulses. In addition, taking part in dialectical behavior therapy may help to improve relationships and manage emotions more effectively. At Lakeview Health, you and your therapist will explore the following skills:


Here, you’ll learn how to be mindful of your feelings and thoughts. You will learn how to recognize your thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors. By identifying them, you are more in control of how you think and react to what’s happening around you. You’ll realize what you are thinking, why, and how to overcome these challenges. You and your therapist will explore the following concepts:

  • Examining the need for validation
  • Balancing acceptance and change
  • Being present in the moment 
  • Letting go of judgment
  • Regulating emotional responses

Distress Tolerance

The key here is to learn how to recognize the reality of a situation. When one tries to avoid this, it often leads to suffering. However, you can learn to accept even painful previous events and find yourself overcoming the emotional connection they have.

Interpersonal effectiveness skills teach patients how to be more objective in some situations. In addition, you’ll gain strategies on how to manage the relationships in your life that may bring unfavorable feelings or that make you feel more vulnerable.

Emotion Regulation

In this component, you will learn how to regulate your emotions using various skills. This allows you to identify and label your emotions. This can help to reduce how vulnerable you are to them and help to decrease your emotional suffering. Different types of thinking cause different types of concerns. In dialectical behavior therapy, you and your therapist will work on distinguishing between and building the following elements of the psyche:

  • Logical mind
  • Emotional mind
  • Intellectual mind

Strategies in DBT

A dialectical behavior therapy program in Jacksonville, FL incorporates four main strategies to help people change negative behaviors. The first of them is mindfulness training. This helps patients focus on their present selves and living in the moment. The objective is to offer trauma-informed care and to avoid reliving past mistakes.

Improving distress tolerance is the second strategy of dialectical behavior therapy. As the name suggests, it teaches people how to tolerate stress during a crisis. Learning distress tolerance allows patients to accept current situations and themselves. Four techniques that achieve distress tolerance include:

  • Weighing the pros and cons
  • Improving movement
  • Soothing one’s self
  • Distracting one’s self

The third strategy of dialectical behavioral therapy involves practicing interpersonal effectiveness. It teaches people how to be assertive in relationships while keeping the relationships healthy and positive. For example, people learn to express their needs while saying “no.”

The last strategy that a dialectical behavior therapy program teaches is emotion regulation. It involves recognizing negative emotions and learning how to cope with them. For example, it can help people realize that they’re angry and how to deal with anger. In the end, it limits their emotional vulnerability while increasing positive emotions.



How Does DBT Help People Who Struggle With Addiction?

Dialectical behavior therapy helps people who struggle with addiction in two ways. First, it helps them eliminate self-destructive behaviors. Substance abuse and eating disorders are two of the most common behavioral health disorders. Getting these under control is an integral part of any addiction treatment program.

Secondly, dialectical behavior therapy helps people deal with certain mental health disorders. Doing so is essential because mental conditions are often the underlying cause of addiction. To prevent relapse after treatment, they have to address this cause and avoid triggers. Post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder are examples of conditions that DBT can treat by helping patients improve in the following areas:

  • Mindfulness
  • Distress tolerances
  • Emotion regulation
  • Interpersonal skill

This type of talk therapy helps many people to overcome the challenges they are facing. Each person’s outcome is different. However, most people find that this program can help you to achieve profound improvements in your life. It may help you to:

  • Improve self-respect
  • Learn how to improve behavioral skills to make better decisions
  • Reduce suicidal or harmful behaviors
  • Improve goal setting
  • Learn how to manage extreme mood changes more effectively

Dialectical behavior therapy in the treatment of conditions like anxiety and depression. It can also be effectively used to help in addiction therapy. If you feel as though your life is controlled by your emotions and the way you think and feel, this type of therapy may offer a way around that. A DBT therapy program may be a foundational component of your long-term success in recovery

Build Positive Relationships and Decrease Self-Harm

Dialectical behavior therapy relies on the client-patient relationship to encourage growth and healing. Clients develop new communication techniques, coping skills, and emotional regulation. DBT can help patients make progress in the following areas:

  • Learning to manage emotions
  • Learning to navigate challenges with self-confidence
  • Improving relationships with family or friends
  • Decreasing the risk of suicide and self-harm
  • Developing a sense of self-respect and confidence
  • Accepting the present moment to live life with meaning and clarity

Evidence-Based, Peer-Reviewed Addiction Treatment

By employing evidence-based treatment methods like cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, mindfulness and meditation therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy, we help patients build the specific tools they need for long-term addiction recovery. Years of scientific research have proven these methods to be effective. At Lakeview, we strive to constantly improve and offer the highest quality care to our patients in the following programs:

  • Inpatient drug rehab
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Chronic pain treatment
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment

A Safe and Caring Environment

Our staff members at Lakeview work to build strong, supportive relationships with the patients in our care. At Lakeview Health, you’ll find a safe space to work through the underlying causes of substance abuse. In our outpatient and residential treatment programs, patients can focus on their recovery away from the stresses of everyday life. And through group therapy, you’ll find a network of support that can help you maintain sobriety even after leaving our center.

Contact Lakeview Health to Start DBT

Are you looking for a dialectical behavior therapy program in Jacksonville, FL? At Lakeview Health, we create custom treatment plans, including evidence-based addiction therapy and holistic therapy, for all of our patients. Our customized care helps you find lasting recovery so that you can return to your normal life.

As a Florida residential addiction treatment center, Lakeview Health offers more than just DBT. We provide a wide range of programs and services to ensure that our facility offers treatments that can address a variety of needs.

Find out if dialectical behavior therapy is right for you. Learn how to fight back against your addiction with the help of DBT. Reach out to Lakeview Health today at 866.552.6557 to get started.