DBT is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This therapy focuses on helping the addict identify and label his/her negative thoughts and impulses. Next, it helps the addict to regulate these negative thoughts and transform them into positive or less destructive ones. Its larger focus is on practicing mindfulness and emotional control. 

What does DBT stand for

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. D (Dialectic) is associated with contradictions or issues and their solutions. In the context of cocaine dependence, the issue is the negative thoughts that influence addiction. The solution lies in the transformation of thoughts from negative to positive. The word B(Behaviour) could indicate the behavioral skills such as, interpersonal skills, mindfulness, and emotional control that need to be transformed through therapy. 

Also Read: What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment? Things You Need To Know

How does Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) therapy work?

DBT is carried out in four stages: 

  1. Identifying and regulating the most self-destructive behavior (suicidal thoughts if any)
  2. Improving/enhancing life skills such as emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal relationships. 
  3. Enhancing relationships by regulating emotions
  4. Identifying happiness in the intrapersonal and interpersonal setups. 

This is achieved through mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional control, and distress tolerance. 

  • Mindfulness is a skill that helps you to consciously focus on the present, positive and healthy aspects. This skill enhances your awareness of yourself and your surroundings. It trains your mind to reduce stress, regulate emotions, overcome issues such as fear, self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. 
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Cocaine addicts, most often, struggle with maintaining relationships. DBT trains you to regulate and enhance your relationships, and communicate with others positively. In doing so, they focus on enhancing your self-esteem too. 
  • Emotional control: Cocaine dependence often arises as a response to self-doubt, fear, low self-esteem, and others. Most often they are depressed, distressed, or aggressive towards themselves and others. DBT helps you identify, label, and regulate these emotions. 
  • Distress tolerance: Self-destructive behavior is a common trait among cocaine addicts. Identifying this and reducing the urge for self-destruction is distress tolerance. DBT uses various methods such as journaling and talk therapy to train the addicts to deal with stress. 

Also Read: A Detox In Los Angeles For Medication-Assisted Treatment And More

What kind of structure should a DBT program have?

DBT approaches the issues in four ways:

  1. One-on-one therapy: One-on-one therapy is most often a talking cure wherein the addict is talking to the specialist privately. The specialist guides the addict towards positive thoughts from negative gradually. 
  2. Life-skills training: This training includes training on basic life skills such as interpersonal effectiveness, informed decision making, emotional control, healthy relationships, and others. This is achieved through counseling sessions which can last anywhere between a few weeks to a year. This time length depends on the severity, duration, and frequency of the abuse. 
  3. Telephonic counseling sessions (if need be): The counseling sessions are given by specialists over the telephone between the life-skills training sessions on a need basis. 
  4. Group therapy (if need be): Group therapy will help the addict share the struggles involved in the detox journey with other addicts. This will keep them motivated to move towards sobriety. 

PS: The solution can be a combination of a few of these or all of these methods depending on the severity, frequency, and duration of the drug abuse.

Should I try DBT if CBT isn’t working for me?

Yes, you can try DBT for its holistic approach to achieving sobriety. Both DBT and CBT focus on identifying the problem, but emotional regulation is better achieved through DBT. 

What is a more effective therapy for BPD: DBT or CBT?

Borderline Personality disorders (BPD) patients predominantly suffer from suicidal thoughts and mood swings. Studies have proven that DBT is more suitable to treat BPD than CBT. The symptoms of BPD can be cured or drastically reduced through DBT.

Y&Y has specialists in DBT who can understand the pulse of the addict through talking therapy, phone counseling, and the like. They are also skilled at training the addicts into life-development skills. Contact and enroll your loved one at Y&Y for any assistance with DBT.