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Dialectical Behavior Therapy For Substance Abuse

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Utah Dialectical Behavior Therapy For Substance Abuse

Steps Recovery Center recognizes how vital the mind, body, and spirit are in their connection to the whole person. We take a holistic approach to treating those individuals with multiple and severe psychological disorders, that includes treating the whole person, and find that it tends to be more successful, especially since addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life. With a customized and individualized program, a holistic approach just makes sense. It affords an opportunity to meet the patient’s physical and psychological needs and allows them to engage physically, emotionally, and mentally.

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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a well-established psychotherapy treatment for individuals with multiple and severe psychological disorders—including individuals who are chronically suicidal. It was also first developed to help those patients with borderline personality disorder and suicidal thoughts. Developed by co-author Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, DBT’s ultimate goal is to assist patients in their efforts to build a life worth living.

Patients who suffer from certain mental illnesses are usually more prone to expressing intense emotional outbursts and may use substances as a form of self-medication. A successful outcome of DBT is when the patient learns to envision, articulate, pursue, and sustain goals, independent of their history. This includes their uncontrollable behavior, including substance abuse, and helps them better able to cope with life’s stresses.

The authors developed the program that incorporates concepts and modalities designed to promote abstinence, thus helping to reduce the length and negative impact on relapses.

DBT and Addiction Treatment

DBT focuses on transforming the recovering addict’s behavior and surroundings to make sobriety easier. Some common DBT strategies include:
  • Boosting self-esteem and confidence to help patients stay sober through stressful periods
  • Encouraging addicts to eliminate triggers, such as drug paraphernalia or unhealthy relationships from their daily lives
  • Helping patients seek out environments and peer groups that discourage drug use

DBT Therapies and Techniques

DBT typically has four core components, including:
  1. Skills training – Group leaders teach ways of communicating and coping skills that include mindfulness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. Patients can apply these skills to their daily routines and interactions. The classes usually last about two hours, meeting every week, for about twenty-four weeks.
  2. Individual therapy – Participating in individual therapy helps recovering addicts learn to apply the techniques taught in skills training classes in real-life situations. These sessions are usually weekly for the whole DBT program and are customized to a recovering addict’s personality. Therapists can help the addict decide how to apply their new skills best.
  3. Phone coaching – When challenging circumstances arise, outside of therapy or skills training classes, patients can call their therapists to help coach them on their training and assist them in managing feelings and coping with stress.
  4. Team consultation – This consultation is for therapists and other healthcare providers to work together and stay motivated in providing the best care possible for patients that can be a challenge to treat.

DBT and Other Treatments

Dialectical behavior therapy is being used in many addiction treatment centers and is useful for teaching recovering addicts coping techniques, communication skills, and self-confidence essential to overcoming drug addiction. Both inpatient and outpatient drug rehab facilities have the resources needed to train and treat all types of patients. The 24-hour medical care provided by inpatient recovery centers helps emotionally-distressed individuals complete detox and manage withdrawal.

DBT is also effective when combined with other treatment modalities, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, contingency management therapy, and community reinforcement therapy. Support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) can also benefit patients in helping integrate new, drug-free peer groups after treatment.
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steps recovery centers testimonials joy

Joy Downen

10 weeks ago

This place is so wonderful and all of the staff care so very much! They are very professional and they know what they are doing. Absolutely amazing facility and staff!!!
Steps Recovery Centers Testimonials Nathan

Nathan Frame

28 weeks ago

Steps Recovery is the place you go if you want a caring and understanding program. They have helped me gain knowledge about myself and what I want/need to do. The staff there can relate and help you through core issues and they push you to do better because being in this program you know you can do big and amazing things. Also the therapists there are awesome and walk with you through struggles of life and give you the tools you truly need. Overall this place is an amazing opportunity and you’d be missing out on a lot if you chose to not at least try this program.
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Shaylesa Stulce

46 weeks ago

Steps Recovery in St. George has been amazing! I’m so excited to use the tools that I’ve learned here! The staff is amazing, and very understanding! I would recommend them to anyone struggling with addiction!
Steps Recovery Centers Testimonial Adam Kelly

Adam Kelly

47 weeks ago

What I liked most about my time at Steps is the atmosphere that was presented during my whole stay. I have done a lot of treatment centers and this one is by far the one I have felt I gained the most from. I would highly recommend Steps to anybody struggling with addiction!
Steps Recovery Centers Testimonial Gary Hanson

Gary Hanson

47 weeks ago

Steps saved our daughter’s life as well as her kids!
Steps Recovery Centers Testimonial Natalie Painter

Natalie Painter

Jan 1, 2019

The staff and facility is amazing- Couldn’t ask for anything better. The program is well rounded with rec activities, equine therapy, gender therapy, group therapy, individual and couples therapy, and also attends various 12 Step support groups such as AA or NA. They also have family therapy and processing with options for individual settings or in a group. These help families understand what their loved ones who suffer from addiction is going through and how to support them, and also gives them their own support system.
Steps Recovery Centers Testimonial Brian Meyer


Nov 13, 2018

This place saved my life! The therapists were very helpful, friendly and really cared about the clients wellbeing. The tech’s were alway helpful with meds and anything that was needed. House manager was amazing, had high expectations on job duties, and kept a very clean organized atmosphere. Food was always amazing. I never went hungry! The information and skills that I have learned and applied to my life are priceless. If you’re not willing to put forth the work to change your life this is not your place, but if you are this is the first Step to take. I Love everyone at Steps. Thank you for all your help
Steps Recovery Centers Testimonials Matthew

Matthew Cromar

Aug 10, 2018

I’d been to other recovery centers before but this one was the best, it stuck because I was willing to do the work, and with the help I received from staff I am now celebrating a year of sobriety in a couple of days. Update; I’m now 18 months sober as of yesterday and I still keep in touch with my steps family. The lessons I learned at steps will stick with me for the rest of my life. Thank you for giving me my life back.
Steps Recovery Centers Guarantee

The Steps Recovery Centers Guarantee

Steps Recovery Centers guarantee that any person who completes any of our programs are welcome to come to our weekly aftercare group for additional support at no charge for life.

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