For people battling addiction, it can also be challenging to manage emotions and relationships. Many treatment options can help, including a dialectical behavior therapy program. We offer this therapy as a component of our addiction treatment center at Fort Behavioral Health. If you’re ready to find help, our team is ready to support you through our addiction therapy program in Texas. Call 855.965.4280 to get started today.

What Is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program?

The dialectical behavior therapy program, sometimes just called DBT, is a comprehensive program designed to help facilitate healing and recovery. You will learn new skills to help you manage your difficult emotions as you work through addiction. The goal of this type of treatment is to give you key skills to help you continue on the path of sobriety.

There are four critical areas of DBT: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.


It starts with mindfulness. The goal here is to improve your ability to accept what is happening and be present in your life. Mindfulness and mindfulness skills can be practiced at any time, anywhere, while doing anything. Intentionally paying attention to the moment, without judging it or holding on to it, is all that is needed.

The core concepts of mindfulness are:

Intentionally living with awareness in the present moment

Mindfulness aims to wake people up from automatic or rote behaviors to participate and be present in their own lives.

Not judging or rejecting the moment

While practicing mindfulness, you let go of evaluating, avoiding, suppressing, or blocking the present moment.

No attachment to the moment

Mindfulness teaches people to attend to the experience of each moment rather than ignoring the present by clinging to the past or grabbing for the future.

Distress Tolerance

Second, it’s vital to increase your ability to tolerate the negative emotions you have. This phase, called distress tolerance, aims to help you stop trying to escape from the emotions you have.

The distress tolerance phase of DBT teaches crisis survival skills, including:

The STOP skill

This skill teaches people to stop, take a step back, observe the situation, and move forward with purpose.

Pros and Cons

By weighing the positives and negatives of each situation, you can determine which steps to take next.

TIP your body chemistry

This skill teaches people to control their hormones and body chemistry by making small changes, such as deep breathing.

Distract with wise mind ACCEPTS

Wise mind ACCEPTS is the ability to distract yourself from difficult emotions with activities that bring joy and peace.

Self-soothe with the five senses

This skill involves using the five senses to ground yourself and bring comfort.

Improve the moment

This skill focuses on finding positive activities that can improve the moment, such as doing something kind for someone or taking a walk in nature.

Emotion Regulation

The third component is emotion regulation. In this phase, you will learn how to manage and change your intense emotions. These emotions typically cause the problems you’re experiencing.

The goals of emotion regulation are:

Understand and name your own emotions

Being able to identify and understand the emotions you have is the first step in controlling them.

Decrease the frequency of unwanted emotions

Once you can identify them, you can learn how to decrease their intensity.

Decrease emotional vulnerability

his part of DBT teaches people how to recognize and manage the triggers that cause emotional outbursts.

Decrease emotional suffering

This skill teaches people to take care of themselves and engage in activities that bring them joy and pleasure.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Finally, interpersonal effectiveness is the phase in which you’ll learn how to communicate assertively with others. The aim here is to help you develop self-respect. This will help you to create stronger relationships.

The goals of interpersonal effectiveness are:

Be skillful in getting what you want and need from others

You can use these skills to get others to take your opinions seriously.

Build relationships and end destructive ones

Building new relationships and ending hopeless ones will ease your emotional burden.

Walk the middle path

This goal helps you create and maintain balance in relationships.

Who Needs DBT?

Our dialectical behavior therapy program is open to anyone facing difficulties related to drug and alcohol addiction, trauma, or other emotional distress. It may not be right for all people, but it can provide a strong foundation of information and real-life, effective strategies for dealing with the complexities in your life.

You can expect each session to last about an hour. You will set goals with your therapist and openly discuss what’s happening during that time. You will be in a safe place where you can open up without repercussions.

Take the First Step by Calling Fort Behavioral Health for Support

With a wide range of treatment programs available, Fort Behavioral Health is here to help you turn the page and start your recovery. We offer a dialectical behavior therapy program as one of the many options for care. Whether you struggle with alcohol addiction or an addiction to drugs, we can help. Furthermore, we offer several dual diagnosis treatment programs. Dual diagnosis treatment means we address both an addiction and mental illness simultaneously. This treatment is essential for many of our patients’ long-term recovery.

Are you ready to stop living in the shadow of addiction? We’re prepared to help. Contact Fort Behavioral Health so we can talk about what treatment method is right for you. Call 855.965.4280 today to learn more about our dialectical behavior therapy program in TX.

Clinically reviewed by:

Tricia Martinez, LCSW, LCCA

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