Addiction is one of the most challenging conditions an individual can be diagnosed with. It’s a series of destructive behavioral patterns that are hard to break without professional help.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is originally a treatment method used to help people with suicidal tendencies, borderline personality disorder, and other mental health diagnoses. However, it’s been adapted for several conditions that affect one’s emotional well-being, like an addiction.
Here are seven ways dialectical behavioral therapy can help fight addiction.
1. Teaches Acceptance Leading To Positive Change
Dialectical behavioral therapy starts with teaching a patient how to accept the situation. Addiction, particularly substance abuse, may take away someone’s perspective of how destructive their actions are, leading to denial and rejecting necessary help.
Accepting who you are and your challenges are the foundation of positive behavioral changes. When a patient realizes they need help to combat this condition, it’s easier for the professionals to plan an adaptive treatment for a specific situation.
As DBT focuses on positive behavioral changes, it’s one of the most promising methods for breaking patterns of addiction. Seeking appropriate help for yourself or a loved one struggling with addiction can be challenging. Reliable facilities offer dialectical behaviour therapy in Ireland, which you can find online.
2. Helps Regulate And Control Emotional Response
Knowing how to deal with emotions efficiently is one of the goals of dialectical behavioral therapy. It involves minimizing the effects of negative emotions like anger, guilt, and shame.
People struggling with addiction may find it harder to control negative emotions, leading to self-destruction and damaged relationships. When one can recognize and define what they feel, it creates a space for analyzing how to respond better.
Managing negative emotions also helps minimize emotional sensitivity. This skill creates more positive emotional experiences.
3. Introduces Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Addiction is a result of repetitive unhealthy coping mechanisms. In most cases, an individual dives into destructive activities to escape life problems. This behavior is typical in people struggling with alcoholism and substance abuse.
Dialectical behavioral therapy teaches one some healthy coping mechanisms to break patterns of destructive behavior. It may include revisiting an old hobby or exploring a new one. A therapist may help you remember and try the activities you used to enjoy.
As addiction is rooted in activities that help you cope, DBT focuses on finding healthy alternatives. These mechanisms help patients discover what works for them in the long run.
4. Helps Tolerate Distress
Everyone is vulnerable to distress. However, there are several ways to deal with it better. Learning how to tolerate distress is one goal of DBT that has a life-long benefit for the patient.
Tolerating distress includes effective crisis management techniques such as defining the problem, improving the situation, soothing oneself, and weighing the possible results of distress tolerance.
Naming and defining the problem helps prevent panic and distress. Instead of escaping, one becomes equipped to face and solve them. It also supports an individual seeking and experiencing comfort in healthy activities despite the challenges.
5. Helps Repair Interpersonal Relationships
Addiction can damage interpersonal relationships. For instance, people suffering from alcoholism and substance abuse may start being aloof from their family and friends. This situation may lead to poor communication and failure to seek help immediately.
One of DBT’s goals is to improve one’s interpersonal skills. It helps people learn healthy and effective communication, resulting in mutual respect. It also develops one’s listening abilities, which is key to mending broken relationships.
Moreover, some therapists may expose a patient to a group for peer counseling. For someone distant from people due to addiction, it provides a fresh start to socialize and express themselves.
7. Improves Self-Esteem
Negative emotions and thoughts that occur in addiction significantly damage one’s self-esteem. Addiction can make someone feel they aren’t enough or worthy of happiness. Negative self-talk is extremely harmful to anyone’s mental state and might be one of the causes of addiction itself.
Going through DBT helps improve self-esteem. The thinking, emotional, and behavioral skills you learn can help you gain the confidence to turn your life around. It can also assure that a person can deal with problems and distress without returning to self-destructive activities.
7. Promotes Mindfulness
Developing mindfulness is one of the benefits of DBT. It helps people focus on the present and deal with whatever’s in front of them without panicking.
Addiction usually starts with turning into a specific action without much thought. One’s mind is focused on the seemingly positive experience without considering the advantages. Dialectical behavioral therapy helps a person slow down to analyze the situation for better decision-making.
Furthermore, mindfulness teaches a person to stay calm even amidst stressful situations. Not only does it help people struggling with addiction but also those suffering from anxiety and depression.
Dialectical behavioral therapy is one of the effective methods that help one overcome addiction. This condition is difficult to surpass, but you can equip yourself with life skills to conquer it with the help of professionals.