Dialectical behavior therapy has been successfully used to treat eating disorders by helping people learn to:
- Regulate their emotions and stress levels.
- Build self-management skills.
- Reduce anxiety.
- Control destructive eating habits.
These steps can also be applied to addiction treatment. People who struggle with substance abuse may experience high-stress situations as triggers to consume intoxicating substances. This can imbalance brain chemistry and make stress and anxiety, along with other mental health disorders, worse over time. By reducing anxiety, managing emotions, and reflecting on personal triggers for destructive behaviors, a therapist can guide their client toward controlling self-destructive behaviors like getting high or drinking too much.
DBT sessions can be used to create behavioral plans. These are particularly useful throughout treatment as well as during the first few years after completing the program.
More rehabilitation programs are focusing on aftercare plans with their clients. A daily, weekly, and monthly schedule centered on personal health and wellness has been linked to reduced problems with relapse. DBT’s behavioral plans address this.
In group DBT sessions, a therapist can cultivate group support and understanding for each individual journey. Group sessions can serve as a safe space to discuss problems and options for fixing them, helping participants to develop understanding of the shared human experience.
Sessions Teach Coping Skills