Are you dealing with a behavioral health issue that is exacerbated by an addiction to drugs or alcohol? If so, you are not alone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about four million Americans have a serious mental health disorder and co-occurring chemical dependency.

Many individuals with a dual-diagnosis are caught in a destructive loop whereby they self-medicate in an attempt to treat the underlying mood disorder. But, there are proven therapies that can help address both conditions.

One such approach, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), is employed by many leading addiction specialists. Using a variety of mindfulness exercises, DBT is designed to help the client become more self-aware of their emotions and addiction triggers and consciously apply healthy coping mechanisms. The result? Better mood regulation and a reduced risk of destructive thoughts and behaviors.

So, how does DBT work? Like most forms of therapy, the process is different for everyone. While there are many different DBT tools and exercises, they all related to these four focus areas.


(1) Mindfulness. Mindfulness is one of core aspects of DBT. Using a variety of exercises, clients recognize their emotions and course-correct thoughts and behaviors to avoid falling into destructive patterns. Some therapies are designed to help clients accept and process their feelings instead of trying to escape the situation with drugs or alcohol.

(2) Distress Tolerance. Distress tolerance is an extension of mindfulness in which the individual gradually learns how to process stressful situations and feelings in a non-judgmental manner. The goal is to learn how to make good decisions in regards to how to react to the situation and not feel helpless or overwhelmed.

(3) Emotion Regulation. This area of DBT is designed to help the client observe and experience emotions and develop healthy habits to better regulate their mood.

(4) Interpersonal Effectiveness. The fourth pillar of dialectical behavior therapy focuses on helping the person interact with friends, family members and co-workers in a healthy way – using conflict management and communication skills.

To learn more about DBT and other tools you can use to avoid destructive behaviors, contact us today and begin your full-circle transformation.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy is backed by scientific evidence, and Infinity Treatment Centers staff members have witnessed its success among hundreds of residential and outpatient clients. Don’t wait: restore your self-image, become more assertive, and open the door to infinite possibility. Experience the support of a transformational therapy community when you call (888) 266-9048 and speak with a caseworker about admissions details.

Recent Posts