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What to Expect in Dialectical Behavior Therapy

People talking about what to expect in dialectical behavior therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a valuable option for many people in substance abuse rehab. It can support your drug or alcohol recovery while also addressing other mental health issues. Compared to other forms of therapy, DBT is relatively unique. As a rule, you’ll get more benefits from it when you understand how it works. That includes knowing what to expect at each stage of your participation in the therapy. Contact Northpoint Recovery online or call 888.296.8976 today to learn what to expect from our dialectical behavior therapy services in Idaho.

What to Expect in Pre-Assessment for Dialectical Behavior Therapy Services

Not everyone is a good candidate for dialectical behavior therapy. For this reason, a pre-assessment is often the first step in DBT. This step helps your therapist determine if you’ll benefit from the treatment. It also enables you to decide whether you want to participate. During a pre-assessment, you will:

  • Answer specific questions about your current condition and background
  • Ask any questions you may have about dialectical behavior therapy
  • Collaborate with the therapist to create a personalized treatment plan
  • Get an overview of what DBT involves, including its goals and techniques

All therapy participants must complete an entire course of DBT. This explains why you must also confirm your commitment to it.

How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Services Work

In dialectical behavior therapy, you do two main things. First, you learn how to accept the reality of your current substance and mental health issues. From this state of acceptance, you move on to a process of actively making positive changes.

Individual Sessions

Part of the therapy takes place in individual sessions with your therapist. What should you expect from DBT’s one-on-one sessions? Common goals of your private time with your therapist include:

  • Determining the specific issues standing in the way of your mental wellness
  • Identifying and changing behaviors that interfere with your recovery
  • Learning the skills needed to make effective changes
  • Protecting you by helping you limit any suicidal thoughts or behaviors

DBT therapists often ask participants to record their everyday thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in a diary. You then review your diary entries with your therapist during your sessions.

Group Sessions

Some DBT skills are best taught in a group setting. Here, the focus isn’t on discussing your problems as you would in typical group therapy. Instead, you go through targeted skills training with other people also receiving DBT.

What should you expect from DBT’s skills training? Two of the primary skills you work on are improved mindfulness and the ability to handle highly stressful emotions. In addition, you learn how to gain better emotional control and interact with others more effectively.

Other Services Provided in DBT

The details of what to expect in dialectical behavior therapy aren’t always the same for everyone. That’s true, in part, because your program may also include other dialectical therapy services. One such service is crisis coaching over the telephone.

You may need this coaching between sessions for any of several reasons. For example, some people go through emergencies where they could harm themselves or others. Phone coaching can help safely navigate such situations. You may also need timely advice on the best ways to make use of the skills you learn in DBT.

Engage in Dialectical Behavior Therapy at Northpoint Recovery

Knowing what to expect in advance is a major plus for anyone enrolling in DBT. Need more guidance or advice? Get it today at Northpoint Recovery. We make regular use of DBT in our inpatient recovery programs. With our help, you can get a complete understanding of the therapy, its uses, and your likely experiences in treatment. Just call us today at 888.296.8976 for further details. You can also reach us by filling out our brief online message form.