Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., ABPP, a mental health researcher at the University of Washington. DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that combines psychological techniques with mindfulness awareness, to assist those with severe psychological disorders, particularly emotional disregulation. It is very often used at Cliffside Malibu to assist those with co-occurring disorders (also called dual diagnosis) to regulate the out-of-control feelings that the addict previously used drugs and alcohol to control.
DBT has strong research backing and is particularly effective with disorders in which the client’s capacity for emotional arousal is above average. For addiction recovery, we use DBT to help clients:
- label the emotions that they are feeling;
- recognize that the way they frame emotions can both limit and motivate them;
- understand the ways in which their feelings affect themselves and others;
- regulate their feelings and use them in ways that are freeing and inspiring;
- deal with stress and distress.