Therapeutic Methods Used in IOP
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapeutic technique used to treat a range of addictive disorders. At Pine Tree Recovery Center, we teach Dialectical Behavior Therapy during our intensive outpatient program in Portland, Maine. We implement DBT in individual, group and family therapy sessions, helping our clients and their loved ones heal on a physical, mental and emotional basis. Once a client has been physically stabilized in our medical detox program, they often transition into our intensive outpatient program (IOP) where they learn a wide range of skills for managing emotions, coping with stress, building relationships and developing a life in long-term recovery. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is just one of many therapeutic methods we employ. Contact us today to learn more about DBT, our medical detox program, our IOP program or to get started with our simple and straightforward admissions process.

What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy, more commonly referred to as DBT, is a modified version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The technique was first developed in the 1970s by Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. to treat borderline personality disorders, but it was soon found to have many beneficial applications. DBT places a strong emphasis on staying grounded in the present moment and helps people who have been struggling with an addictive disorder learn to manage their emotions while improving their interpersonal relationships. DBT centers around several core techniques.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Techniques:

  • Distress Tolerance – This technique is geared toward teaching clients how to successfully help themselves through challenging situations. They learn how to handle a crisis through the utilization of several methods including improving the moment, distracting themselves with a healthy activity, self-soothing or mentally going through a list of pros and cons. Distress tolerance is an important part of preparing for intense emotions which are bound to crop up from time-to-time in early recovery.

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  • Core Mindfulness – One of the biggest benefits of DBT is the development of mindfulness skills. Mindfulness helps clients stay present in the moment and tune into what they are feeling, thinking and experiencing. When a person actively engages in mindfulness they are reminding themselves to breathe, stay calm and acknowledge uncomfortable emotions without allowing them to linger.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness – This technique teaches clients to be more assertive about personal needs in their interpersonal relationships. It focuses on keeping relationships healthy and mutually beneficial while setting boundaries. Communication skills are also further developed.
  • Emotional Regulation – This technique teaches clients how to hone in on what they are feeling in the present moment. Rather than identifying feelings as “good” or “bad,” they dive deeper and connect specific emotions to their root causes. At Pine Tree Recovery Center we implement emotional check-ins during group therapy settings, during which clients state how they are feeling. This exercise ultimately helps clients identify uncomfortable emotions which could potentially trigger a relapse.

Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

During DBT sessions, which typically happen in a one-on-one setting, the client and their therapist work together in a collaborative setting to overcome any opposition to treatment. It isn’t uncommon for clients to feel ambivalent toward staying sober. They might recognize that their current behavioral patterns are detrimental but not really care whether or not they continue down the path they’re on. One of the main priorities of DBT is shifting this ambivalence and helping clients gain motivation to stay sober through the recognition of how much more fulfilling and rewarding their lives can be.

DBT dialectical behavior therapy

There are many benefits associated with DBT, especially when this technique is part of a more comprehensive therapeutic program.

Benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy:

  • A decrease in self-destructive behaviors.
  • A decrease in ambivalence toward the outcome of treatment.
  • Increased treatment retention.
  • An increase in motivation to stay sober long-term.
  • Learning to make self-beneficial choices independent of mood.
  • Becoming more goal-oriented in all areas of life.
  • Building a solid sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Developing crucial coping mechanisms and relapse prevention skills.

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Other Therapeutic Methods We Utilize

In addition to Dialectical Behavior Therapy we offer:

  • Crisis Intervention – We offer crisis intervention services for the loved ones of addicts or alcoholics who repeatedly refuse treatment. Addiction is a complicated condition, and over time substance use becomes completely compulsive and involuntary. We are happy to put the loved ones of someone who has been struggling with addiction in touch with an experienced interventionist in our network.
  • Addiction Assessments – Upon admission to our medical detox or IOP program, each client undergoes a personalized assessment geared towards helping our clinical team develop a focused and individualized treatment plan.
  • Case Management – Clients are each assigned a case manager who walks them through the treatment process and communicates directly with the clinical team. The case manager helps each client develop a personalized aftercare plan and serves as the main point of contact between the clinical team and the loved ones of the client.
  • Aftercare Planning – Medical detox and IOP help clients physically stabilize and develop the tools and coping mechanisms they need to stay sober. However, aftercare planning is also a very important piece of the puzzle. Case managers help each client develop a strategic aftercare plan to ensure their ongoing recovery.
  • Relapse Prevention Training – Clients learn to identify and work through their personal relapse triggers, ensuring sobriety lasts long after treatment comes to an end.

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Begin Your Personal Recovery Journey

If you or someone you love has been struggling to stay sober and is ready to take the first step towards a life of health, happiness and fulfillment, we are available to help. The moment you make initial contact whether by phone or directly through our website, one of our Treatment Advisors will begin walking you through our simple and straightforward admissions process. We begin by conducting a brief pre-assessment which typically takes no more than 10 minutes. We ask a series of simple questions, geared towards helping our clinical team begin to develop a personalized treatment plan before you or your loved one even arrives at our facility. We then work through all potential coverage options, determining which is the best for your unique case. Finally, we arrange local transportation to our Portland, Maine facility and set a date for admission. We understand how difficult it can be to come to terms with a substance abuse disorder, and we know it’s even harder to reach out for help. Once you make initial contact we are dedicated to making the remainder of the process as stress-free as possible. Contact us today to get started.