What Is Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)?

At Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn we offer a specialist type of therapy that has been proven to be a successful in the treatment of addiction and its common co occurring illnesses.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is a type of talking psychotherapy, originally developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder in the 1980’s. Is closely related to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), another recognised and hugely powerful talking therapy that we offer. Over the years it has been found that it successfully treats a number of mental health illnesses, including addiction, depression, anxiety disorder, eating disorders and post traumatic stress.

Our Counsellors are qualified and highly experienced in delivering both CBT and DBT. The therapy delivered is individualised to each patients treatment needs, ensuring that they get the best treatment possible and appropriate levels of support throughout their stay. Like CBT, DBT is also very flexible, so we incorporate elements of it into many of our other therapies as part of our treatment

Treatment with Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

DBT works by identifying and challenging unhelpful and destructive thinking; the individual is then encouraged to take on a different perspective that positively alters their outlook on life. For example, DBT can challenge and change an unhelpful thought such as “I am worthless and have nothing of value to offer anyone else; I mess everything up” to a more helpful ” I can use my experiences positively to help others and allow myself to heal in the process. I have a choice not to return back to my old behaviours and drugs today. I deserve to recover from addiction”. Essentially DBT encourages the individual to abandon their old ways of thinking, as it led them to drugs and self-destructive behaviours. New positive and healthy thought patterns are encouraged through the process of receiving DBT treatment

With mental health illnesses and mood disorders, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) helps the individual to identify assumptions, thoughts and beliefs that are unhelpful and therefore make their life harder to live. The mind and the individuals thinking is what drives addicts and alcoholics to continue using or relapsing even when they want to get and stay clean. This is why addiction has been now recognised by Public Health England as a “chronic relapsing brain disease” We cannot rid the world of alcohol and drugs, but we can help the individual to change the way that they view themselves and their life. DBT is a challenging but compassionate therapy that encourages self worth and self-love. Addicts and those that suffer from mental health illnesses, notoriously lack self-esteem, self acceptance and self love. Their addiction leads them to believing that they are unlovable and so the self-destructive patterns continue. Addiction is also characterised by unrealistic expectations of themselves and others; we help them to see the truth and encourage more realistic thinking with very achievable goals. For an individual in active addiction, a complete change of thinking and actions is unrealistic. Yet once detoxed and in a safe environment, we have the time and space to work with them intensively, in order to achieve the profound change in their thinking that is required to maintain recovery on a permanent basis, a day at a time. DBT is a solution-based treatment that focuses on the solution of recovery as opposed to the problem of addiction. It is highly successful in transforming the foundations of the individual’s cognitive thought processes, making life much more comfortable and bearable for them without the need for alcohol, drugs or destructive behaviours.

How Does DBT Differ from CBT?

DBT and CBT are both types of talking psychotherapy and are closely linked. Both have been developed to identify, challenge and change unhelpful and self-destructive thought processes and behaviours. DBT differs from CBT in that it also focuses the individual on acceptance of him or herself. It encourages self-care, self-compassion and self worth. DBT also places particular importance on the patient/therapist relationship. The therapeutic relationship is then used to assist the individual in focusing on positive change, change that will encourage them to view themselves in a different light to how they normally do. DBT discourages black and white thinking and encourages more flexible thinking that fosters acceptance and change. What differentiates the two types of therapy, is the subtle differences in the therapeutic relationship with the therapist/counsellor and the encouragement of self-acceptance. DBT is also a holistic therapy, in that it treats the individual as a whole and not just one singular aspect.

What Does Dialectical Behavioural Therapy Treat?

DBT has been designed to treat those that struggle to process difficult emotions and suffer from self-destructive thought patterns. The theory behind the development of DBT is that some people feel emotions much more strongly than others. Those suffering from mental health disorders and addiction fall into this category. By using drink and drugs to suppress emotions, they have never learned how to process them effectively. Take away the drink and the drugs and the individual is left without coping skills and is highly susceptible to relapse. DBT helps to “right size” emotions and develop healthy strategies for processing and dealing with them. This vastly helps with the improvement of the individual’s quality of life and how they manage it. Behind every emotion felt, there is a thought process responsible; change the thought process and the emotion changes too. DBT helps with challenging thinking and changing it. A good example of how it can help an individual who suffers from a mental health illness such as Post Traumatic Stress, is that is helps the individual to process the emotions related to the trauma and then realise that they are alive and safe in the present moment. By bringing their focus back to the here and now, they realise they no longer have to their live in their past or project negatively with expectations, into their future. With addiction and mental health illnesses, the therapist delivering DBT will encourage the individual to accept responsibility for their own thoughts and actions. This helps them to continue the process once they have left the treatment environment. Through this simple yet greatly effective therapy, freedom from destructive and painful thinking can be achieved.

Encouraging Self-Acceptance and Self-Worth

Through the application of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy an individual can learn to understand and accept him or herself as they are. This drastically reduces internal conflict and they start to work “with” themselves as oppose to giving themselves a hard time. The strong therapeutic relationship between counsellor and patient fosters trust and understanding. The patient learns how to forgive themselves and show self-compassion and love when dealing with scenarios and events that they would have used on in the past.

Having no acceptance of oneself or their illness encourages negative beliefs systems and emotions such as shame, guilt, anger and blame. By learning to accept and gain a better understanding of who they are and why they are the way that they are, the individual starts to develop self-compassion, empathy, love, self-forgiveness and motivation to change. Those who suffer from self-destructive mental health illnesses, often blame themselves for the events they have suffered in the past and the way they have dealt with them. Dialectics helps them to recognise that the past cannot be changed, but that they can learn from it and use it positively as to how they deal with similar events in the future.

“Life is 1% of what happens to us and 99% of how we respond.”

DBT with Oasis Runcorn

Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn offers the choice of one of two powerful and proven rehabilitation programmes that are based on the 2 main types of solution-focused therapy:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy

We use these proven treatment methodologies as a foundation for our recovery programmes in treating:

  • Addiction
  • Eating Disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

We combine CBT and DBT with our other proven addiction and co-occurring illness treatments such as 12 Step, Music Therapy, Art Therapy and Mindfulness and Meditation. On admission, prior to treatment commencing, each patient is carefully assessed by our qualified Doctor, who is experienced in treating physical and mental health conditions. A comprehensive treatment plan is then formed for our therapists to follow, monitor and review. We believe, that it is only by treating the root issues of the individuals’ illness and personal problems, that addiction, mental health disorders and harmful behaviours can be permanently overcome.

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Call Now 0203 131 5938
Call Now 0203 131 5938

Call Now 0203 131 5938

Find us
  • Oasis Runcorn
  • 38-40
  • Bridge St
  • Runcorn
  • WA7 1BY
  • UK

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